Photo Courtesy of Women-Hub.com
Here’s the bad news: Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States and it’s on the rise. More than 3.5 million cases of basal and squamous cell skin cancer are diagnosed each year, while more than 75,000 people develop melanoma — one of the deadliest forms of skin cancer.
But while these statistics remain jarring, the good news is that skin cancer actually is one of the most preventable forms of cancer. The American Cancer Society’s (ACS) awareness campaign for skin cancer prevention promotes the slogan Slip! Slop! Slap! and Wrap to remind people of the four key ways they can protect themselves from UV radiation:
Slip on a shirt…
Slop on sunscreen…
Slap on a hat…
Wrap on sunglasses (to protect the eyes and sensitive skin around them from ultraviolet light)
Photo Courtesy of WorldIsBeauty.com
In addition, The National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention has designated May 25, 2012 as Don’t Fry Day, an annual effort to raise awareness of skin cancer prevention. This pre-Memorial Day awareness initiative is designed to raise awareness about the steps you can take to prevent skin cancer. Here are some key preventative measures:
1. Go beyond sunscreen to protect your skin
2. Seek shade when you can
3. Wear protective clothing
4. Apply sunscreen (SPF 15 or higher)
5. Avoid intentional tanning or burning
6. Use the UV Index forecast. A higher UV Index on a scale from 1 to 11+ means more skin damaging UV radiation reaching the earth
In addition to promoting Don’t Fry Day, the ACS recommends these sun safe behaviors for all people everyday:
– Limit the amount of time spent in direct sun when the sun’s rays are most intense, generally from10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
– Wear protective clothing when out in the sun, including long sleeves, sunglasses and a hat that shades the face, neck, and ears
– Wear sunscreen with a sun protection factor of 15 or higher on all skin that isn’t covered
– Protect skin even on cool or cloudy days
– Do regular skin self-exam, and make sure that an examination for skin cancer is a part of your regular periodic health exam
Following these few simple steps will help lower your risk factor dramatically. And since we all know the sun is a key factor in aging, cancer protection turns out to be a major beauty enhancement as well. Remember, safe skin is beautiful skin, both now and in years to come.
– Yona McDonough
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