Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection & Prevention Month

May Is Melanoma / Skin Cancer Detection & Prevention Month

May is Melanoma / Skin Cancer Detection & Prevention Month. Did you know that skin cancer is the leading form of cancer in the United States? Melanoma is the most extreme and deadly form of skin cancer. It’s important for American of all ages to be aware of the risks, dangers, and prevention techniques so that they can avoid this serious illness.

What Causes Melanoma / Skin Cancer?

Most cases of skin cancer can be attributed to ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Sunlamps, tanning booths, and—if course—the sun, can cause UV radiation.

Here are a few statistics about skin cancer that you should know:

  • Every hour, one person dies from melanoma cancer.
  • Studies show that one in five people in the United States will develop skin cancer over the course of their lives.
  • For people who live to the age of 65 or more, they will have a nearly 50% risk of developing skin cancer at least one time.
  • With more than five sunburns, your risk for developing melanoma doubles.
  • Using a tanning bed before the age of 35 raises your risk for developing melanoma by 75%.
  • Using SPF 15 or higher sunscreen daily cuts your risk for developing melanoma in half.

How Can I Avoid Skin Cancer?

Most of the tips and advice regarding avoiding skin cancer are fairly common sense. Never use tanning beds or sun lamps. Always try to stay out of direct sunlight for prolonged periods of time; seek out shady areas on sunny days. Use UV-blocking sunglasses, hats with wide brims, and long clothing to protect your skin from the sun.

Use sunscreen regularly. Choose a sunscreen that has broad-spectrum coverage for UVA / UVB protection, and look for an SPF of 15 or more. If you are going to be outside for a long period of time, look for a broad-spectrum screen that is at least SPF 30. Remember that you need to reapply your sunscreen frequently in order for it to be effective in protecting your skin.

Follow these guidelines for applying sunscreen:

  • Cover your body with two tablespoons of sunscreen—approximately one ounce—half an hour prior to leaving your home.
  • Then take the time to reapply every two hours once you are outside.
  • If you swim or engage in activity that makes you perspire significantly, reapply immediately afterward.

You also need to get in the habit of inspecting your body for potential skin cancer. Every month, give yourself a thorough examination—head to foot. Be sure to schedule an annual skin exam with your doctor every year as well.

Tips for Keeping Your Children Safe from Skin Cancer

It’s very important to protect your kids from skin cancer. Make sure to keep newborn babies out of direct sunlight. Once your child is six months old, begin to apply sunscreen to his / her body before going outside.

Talk to your doctor for more tips about protecting yourself from skin cancer and lowering your melanoma risk. Here in sunny Southern California, it’s important to be aware of the importance of sunblock and skin protection. Our team at Garfield Medical Center is proud to partner with our community in recognizing Melanoma / Skin Cancer Detection & Prevention Month in order to promote health and wellness in our community.

This article contains general information about medical conditions and treatments. The information is not advice and should not be treated as such. The information is not intended to replace the advice or diagnosis of a physician.

If you have any specific questions about any medical matter you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider.