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May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month 5/1/2013 - May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month

May is Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month. Skin cancer is a serious concern as there are over two million new diagnoses each year.  Living in Florida also places you at a higher risk due to increased sun exposure during the year. 

 

•More people were diagnosed with skin cancer in 2009 than with breast, prostate, lung, and colon cancer combined.

 •About 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer during their lifetime.

 •One American dies of melanoma almost every hour.

 •Melanoma is one of the few cancers that continues to have an increasing number of cases each year.

 •Melanoma is the second most common form of cancer for adolescents and young adults (15-29 years old).

 •For people born in 2005, 1 in 52 will be diagnosed with melanoma— nearly 30 times higher than for people born in 1930.

Since its inception in 1979, The Skin Cancer Foundation has always recommended using a sunscreen with an SPF 15 or higher as one important part of a complete sun protection regimen. Sunscreen alone is not enough, however. Read our full list of skin cancer prevention tips.

 •Seek the shade, especially between 10 AM and 4 PM.

 •Do not burn.

 •Avoid tanning and UV tanning booths.

 •Cover up with clothing, including a broad-brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses.

 •Use a broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher every day. For extended outdoor activity, use a water-resistant, broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.

 •Apply 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) of sunscreen to your entire body 30 minutes before going outside.

 •Reapply every two hours or immediately after swimming or excessive sweating.

•Examine your skin head-to-toe every month.

 •See your physician every year for a professional skin exam.

 

If you need further assistance, please contact Student Health Services for questions or an exam.  We offer referral services to dermatologists. 

You may want to take this quick quiz to assess your safety level and your sun safety IQ!

http://www.cancer.org/healthy/toolsandcalculators/quizzes/app/sun-safety-quiz

References

http://www.skincancer.org/prevention/sun-protection/prevention-guidelines.

http://www.cdc.gov/cancer/skin/chooseyourcover/index.htm.

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