With Memorial Day coming up right around the corner, the American Cancer Society is making sure to remind people that it is important for them to practice safe precautionary measurements against the sun.
In the United States, skin cancer leads to annual cases of almost 5.5 million. This is more than all the other types of cancers combined making it the most common cancer in the country. Exposing yourself to the sun makes you more susceptible to skin cancer therefore experts advise in favor of sun protection.
The threat of the pandemic has forced American public indoors and most of them are longing to get into outdoor activities again in the light of newly lifted stay-at-home orders says Dr. Laura Makaroff, senior vice president of prevention and early detection at the American Cancer Society (ACS).
Even after people are allowed to go outside, it is imperative that they still practice social distancing and avoid areas that have an unsafe amount of people in them because reducing the risk of transmission of coronavirus is still very vital. Besides the threat of the novel coronavirus, people need to be mindful of the risks attached to prolonged sun exposure, thorough regimes to protect skin are important, Makaroff explained in an ACS news release.
Skin cancer is so common in the United States that 1 in every 5 people will eventually have some kind of skin-related cancer. One of the most fatal types of skin cancer include Melanoma, this cancer accounts for about 1% of all recorded cases under the skin cancer category, the ACS said.
Most people don’t understand the importance of sunscreen and they don’t apply enough on their skins for it to be beneficial for them. People also forget to apply the recommended amount of times, said Dr. William Huang, a consultant dermatologist.
Just as brushing teeth is an unquestioned routine, forgetting to brush daily will feel uncomfortably odd, in the same sense one should never forget to apply sunscreen daily, he explained further in a news release.
When studying skin cancer in comparison to other types of cancers, UV radiation happens to pose a lethal risk. Compared to smoking and its effect on lung cancer, UV radiation, and skin cancer ranks higher in threat, Huang added further.
Leaving melanoma unchecked can prove harmful in the long run as it is known to multiply, Huang explained. If found early in its development, however, the patient can get rid of it without any further complications as seen in a majority of the cases.
According to medical advisors, self-examination for any new growth like spots and bumps or anything else that seems off to you, are the easiest ways to catch the disease before it becomes lethal.
The good news is that skin cancer can very much be prevented. The cause of 90% of all skin cancers is exposure to ultraviolet radiation that came from either the sun or indoor tanning activities.
There are a few ways through which you can reduce risks of getting skin cancer, these include:
- Avoiding intentional sunburns and tans, contrary to popular belief no tan is safe for people to get
- SPF 30 is something you should look for in a broad-spectrum sunscreen. Applying it liberally will offer a safe barrier from the sun.
- Clothing should also be carefully thought out, wearing sun-protective clothing and hats that have broad brims will also prove beneficial for you.
- The hours during which, the sun is at the peak, between the ties 10 a.m to 4 p.m people should remain indoors.
- When near areas with water such as beaches, snow, and sand one should take extra caution.