See Spot…Check Spot…
Save a Life
Skin self-examination is an important tool for the early detection of skin cancer. It is by far the most common cancer in the world with more than 1 million new cases of skin cancer diagnosed each year in the United States alone.
Most skin cancer is caused by too much exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays, but manmade sources, such as tanning beds, can cause skin cancer. Too much sun over a long period also can cause prematurely aged skin, wrinkles, loss of skin elasticity, dark patches and pre-cancerous skin changes.
Who Gets Skin Cancer?
Factors that can affect your risk for skin cancer include:
- Having fair or light skin color.
- Living in places with intense sunshine.
- Having skin that burns easily.
- Having light eyes and blond, red or light brown hair.
- Having a family history or personal history of skin cancer.
- Having an outdoor job.
- Having severe sunburns as a child.
- Taking medicines that lower your immunity or certain medications that increase your sensitivity to sunlight.
- Having an abundance of large and irregularly-shaped moles.
How Do I Protect Myself?
To help prevent skin cancer, follow these tips, even on cloudy or overcast days:
- Apply sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or greater 30 minutes before sun exposure and then every few hours thereafter.
- Select cosmetic products and contact lenses that offer UV protection.
- Wear sunglasses with total UV protection.
- Avoid direct sun exposure as much as possible during peak UV radiation hours between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
- Cover up – slip on a shirt or slap on a hat.
- Avoid tanning beds and sunlamps.