Originally posted 5/27/09
It's that time of year... the sun is shining and everyone heads outdoors for fresh air, family fun, and some sun. It also means it's time to stock up on the sunscreen and sun smarts. Did you know that skin cancer is the most common type of cancer?
When I moved to Western New York almost
Please, please... use your sunscreen (and don't forget to re-apply), spend time in the shade, and be sun smart. Don't forget: you can get a sunburn on an overcast day!!! Check your sun safety IQ by clicking here.
Some quick facts from the American Cancer Society:
- Skin cancer is the most common of all cancers. This type of cancer can almost completely be avoided if people would protect their skin and follow simple guidelines when they are outside.
- There are more than 1 million skin cancers diagnosed each year in the United States. That’s more than cancers of the prostate, breast, lung, colon, uterus, ovaries and pancreas combined. And the number of skin cancers has been on the rise for the past few decades.
- The vast majority of skin cancers are due to unprotected ultraviolet radiation (UV) exposure. Most of this radiation comes from sunlight, but some may come from artificial sources, such as tanning booths. The amount of UV exposure depends on the strength of the light, the length of exposure and whether the skin is protected.
- Limit direct sun exposure mid-day (between 10am and 2pm have long been said to be the strongest rays - this has now been extended to 4pm)
- Cover Up
- Use a sunscreen with an SPF 30 or higher
- Wear a hat
- Wear UV blocking sunglasses
- Avoid tanning beds and sunlamps! (Positive links to skin cancer have not been made.)