Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in this United States, but it is also one of the most preventable. With the heat and activity of the summer months still upon us, it is important to be proactive in protecting your skin from the sun and other sources of ultraviolet (UV) radiation.
UV rays are invisible to the naked eye and are more intense in the summer, at higher altitudes, and in areas closer to the equator. Overexposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun causes sunburn (erythema), skin cancer, premature aging (skin wrinkling), cataracts (gradual clouding of the lens of the eye), immune system suppression, DNA damage and dilated blood vessels.
The National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention has designated the Friday before Memorial Day as “Don’t Fry Day”–a day to encourage awareness of sun safety in hopes of reducing the rates of skin cancer caused by overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays. With a little planning, you can enjoy the summer sun and protect your skin–not just on this day, but every day.
The Importance of Sun Safety
Sunshine is enjoyable–but too much exposure to the sun can be dangerous. Overexposure to UV rays can result in more than a painful sunburn. It can also lead to more serious health problems, including melanoma and nonmelanoma skin cancer.
It turns out there’s another bonus to marriage: early skin cancer detection and management. According to a recent study published in JAMA Dermatology, melanomas are more likely to be detected early in married people than people who are single, divorced or widowed.
How can being married help reduce my risks?
Data suggests that spouses or partners may help identify melanoma that may have otherwise gone unnoticed.
Summer sun safety means you should focus on safe, outdoor fun while you protect your skin from damage, including dry and itchy skin, sunburns and skin cancer. Phoenix, Arizona typically receives 360 hours of sunshine in September, so you have plenty of opportunities to be outside. With a little planning, you can enjoy the summer sun and protect your skin at the same time.
Why is Sun Safety Important?
You might not think about it, but your skin is the body’s largest organ. It’s exposed to conditions that other organs are not because it’s on the outside instead of the inside of your body. This makes your skin vulnerable to weather and the environment, including sunlight.
While skin cancer can appear anywhere, not just the areas that were sunburned previously, some of the most common places include your face, scalp, neck, ears, lips, and the backs of your hands. Since skin cancer can be a result of sun exposure over a long period of time, not just a one-time sunburn, it is important to always practice sun safety.
Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer diagnosed in the United States. Annually, there are more than 5.4 million new cases of non-melanoma skin cancers. While there are fewer cases of melanoma, the incidence of this cancer is on the rise. Many of these cancers can be prevented by protecting skin from excessive sun exposure and avoiding indoor tanning. Read more about skin cancer prevention tips.