Protect Yourself and Your Family from Skin Cancer
In the United States, the most common form of cancer is skin cancer. The CDC reports that nearly 5 million people are treated yearly. The three most common types of skin cancer include basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma.
Indicators of skin cancer may include:
■ Irregular borders on moles (ragged, notched, or blurred edges)
■ Moles that are not symmetrical (one half doesn’t match the other)
■ Colors that are not uniform throughout
■ Moles that are bigger than a pencil eraser
■ Itchy or painful moles
■ New moles
■ Sores that bleed and do not heal
■ Red patches or lumps
Tips…How to protect yourself
- Avoid prolonged exposure when possible, by seeking shade under Umbrellas, trees, or other shelters for relief from the sun.
- Wear sunscreen with sun protective factor (SPF) 15 or higher, and UVA/UVB protection. Apply generously to all exposed skin areas. Reapply if in the sun longer than 2 hours, after swimming, or sweating. Sunscreen expires after 3 years, so be sure to check the expiration date.
- Wear wide-brimmed hats to shade the head, face, neck, and ears.
- Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes and the skin around your eyes from UV rays. This may also reduce the risk for developing cataracts. Sunglasses that block UVA/UVB rays offer the best protection.
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