With the summer and beach season in full swing, CSC reminds you to protect your skin! According to the National Cancer Institute, more than 1,000,000 estimated new cases of skin cancer were diagnosed in 2010, making it the most common form of cancer in the United States.
Kevin O’Keefe, featured in CSC’s Frankly Speaking About Cancer: Melanoma, tells his story with melanoma which serves as a great example of how to enjoy the sun while protecting yourself from the harmful rays. Kevin enjoys many of his summer weekends on his boat in Maryland but explains that he wears a hat, t-shirt, lots of sunscreen and spends most of the day under the boat’s shade covering. At age 56, he had surgery to remove an early stage melanoma and gets examined by his dermatologist every six months. Kevin admits that when he and his family moved to Massachusetts they weren’t aware they were at risk for melanoma. “[We] didn’t know then the health risks of sunburns, and the beach is quite a novelty for someone from Canada where winters are long and sunshine scarce.” Kevin always makes sure that his three children get regular check-ups, embrace the shade on sunny afternoons and use the highest degree of UV sunscreen available.
To protect yourself from the sun, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that you seek shade, particularly in the midday hours, wear clothing to protect exposed skin, wear a hat to shade the face, head, ears, and neck, wear sunglasses that wrap around, as well as sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher with both UVA and UVB protection. For more information about screenings, risk factors and protecting children from the sun, CSC encourages you to visit the CDC website. The American Academy of Dermatology website– http://www.melanomamonday.org/– also has great information and resources about free skin cancer screenings, finding a dermatologist and how to perform a skin self-exam.
CSC offers a wide variety of material for people diagnosed with skin cancers and their loved ones, too. To order your free copy of Frankly Speaking About Cancer: Melanoma, click here! You can also learn more about the disease, its management and tips for coping on our website.
CSC recently aired an episode of Frankly Speaking About Cancer, our weekly internet radio show, on tips for skin cancer prevention and the latest treatment advances in melanoma. Listen now!
i“Skin Cancer.” National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health. (2010). http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/types/skin