Skin cancer: Awareness and Prevention

Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States, with nearly five million cases treated each year. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun or artificial sources is the most common cause of skin cancer. Because UV exposure adds up over time, the risk of developing skin cancer increases every time an individual is exposed to natural or artificial UV rays. When skin cancer does occur. treatment options are often best when the disease is caught at an early stage.

To lower your risk for skin cancer, the CDC recommends the following tips:

  • Wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses when outdoors
  • Apply sunscreen with broad spectrum protection and a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or higher, even on cloudy days. Reapply sunsceen every two hours and after swimming or other physical activity. 
  • Find shade during the hottest part of the day when UV rays are strongest.
  • Avoid indoor tanning options.

Parents are encouraged to teach children and teens about sun safety at an early age and to encourage skin cancer prevention behavior.

How the Sun Sees You

(Video for illustrational purposes only)