Dangers of Skin Cancer and Tips to Help Prevent It.


May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month, a time to raise awareness about the dangers of skin cancer and how to prevent it. In recognition of this designation, Fellowship Square Historic Mesa shares some education and sun safety tips.

According to the Skin Cancer Foundation,“Skin Cancer Awareness Month is a time for us to speak up about the dangers of skin cancer and share the facts about sun protection and early detection to help save lives.” Annually, there are more than 5 million cases of skin cancer diagnoses in the U.S. However, the good news is that skin cancer is one of the most preventable

It’s important to be aware of the dangers of unprotected exposure to the sun as well as to have regular skin checks. These simple efforts can be lifesaving.

The American Academy of Dermatology Association (AAD) reports that “UV is the root cause of most skin cancer.” The organization stresses the importance of taking precautions when spending time in the sun.

The American Cancer Society states that avoiding spending extended time in the sun between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when UV rays are the strongest, is one of the best ways to avoid UV damage. That includes cloudy days too.

During the summer months, when rays are stronger and can even reach the ground — and the skin — it’s even more important to be proactive about skin protection.
Damage from UV rays can occur in just 15 minutes, so it’s important to wear sunscreen or UV-protective clothing and accessories every day and even when running errands or when you plan on being exposed to the sun for even short periods.

Consider applying sunscreen as well as wearing light clothing, hats, sunglasses or even gloves. Don’t forget to reapply sunscreen often, particularly if you are in and out of the water. While everyone is at risk for skin damage, the Skin Cancer Foundation reports more than half of skin-cancer-related deaths occur in those over the age of 65 and that skin cancer “strikes one in five
people by age 70.” So seniors need to be particularly vigilant about skin protection.

The Skin Cancer Foundation also recommends paying attention to your skin for early detection of symptoms. The organization suggests checking your skin from head to toe to look for anything new, changing or unusual. Furthermore, the American Cancer Society says, “If you have skin it can be treated successfully.”

With “your eyes and a mirror” you can do a self-check over your entire body. The organization states, “The first time you examine your skin, spend time carefully going over the entire surface. Learn the pattern of moles, blemishes, freckles, and other marks on your skin so that you’ll notice any changes next time. Be sure to show your doctor any areas that concern you.”
Do a thorough exam of your entire body and if you find something suspicious, it’s important to have it checked by your doctor. In recognition of Skin Cancer Awareness Month, consider these skin protection efforts and commit to self-checking your skin on a regular basis.

Stay informed on how we're handling COVID-19.