May: Skin Cancer Awareness Month
Posted on 11 May 2018
Cancer. The universally dreaded word no one wants to hear. This month is Skin Cancer Awareness Month and here at Bellaochio we want to provide you with information, statistics, and our top picks for preventing the deadly disease in style.
According to SkinCancer.org, skin cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal skin cells. It occurs when unrepaired DNA damage to skin cells (most often caused by ultraviolet radiation from sunshine or tanning beds) triggers mutations, or genetic defects, that lead the skin cells to multiply rapidly and form malignant tumors.
You may be wondering, what are ultraviolet rays? According to Cancer.org, there are 3 types of UV rays.
- UVA rays age skin cells and can damage their DNA. These rays are linked to long-term skin damage such as wrinkles, but they are also thought to play a role in some skin cancers. Most tanning beds give off large amounts of UVA, which has been found to increase skin cancer risk.
- UVB rays have slightly more energy than UVA rays. They can damage skin cells’ DNA directly, and are the main rays that cause sunburns. They are also thought to cause most skin cancers.
- UVC rays have more energy than the other types of UV rays, but they don’t get through our atmosphere and are not in sunlight. They are not normally a cause of skin cancer.
Did you know?: More people are diagnosed with skin cancer each year in the United States than all other cancers combined.
BUT — it's also the most preventable cancer. How? Read on.
- UV rays are strongest between 10am-4pm so avoid exposure during these times
- If you must be outside at any time of the day:
- wear a broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen of at least SPF 15 (higher if outside for an extended amount of time) to reduce your chance of melanoma skin cancer by 50%
- Cover up! Wear protective clothing and accessories such as broad-rimmed hats and UV-blocking sunglasses.
- Avoid tanning and UV tanning beds
- Examine your skin head-to-toe for abnormal moles or skin growths. Click here for how to do this and what to look for
- Get a professional skin exam every year with your physician
Did you know?: You can experience the negative effects of the sun even on a cloudy day. In fact, depending on the type of cloud, the potential sun damage can be even worse.