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Sun Safety & UV Info

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Skin Cancer Facts

GENERAL

  • Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. More than 3.5 million cases in two million people are diagnosed annually.
  • Each year there are more new cases of skin cancer than the combined incidence of cancers of the breast, prostate, lung and colon.
  • One in five Americans will develop skin cancer in the course of a lifetime.
  • Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is the second most common form of skin cancer. An estimated 700,000 cases are diagnosed each year in the US, resulting in approximately 2,500 deaths.
  • Basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma are the two major forms of non-melanoma skin cancer. Between 40 and 50 percent of Americans who live to age 65 will have either skin cancer at least once.
  • About 90 percent of non-melanoma skin cancers are associated with exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun.
  • Up to 90 percent of the visible changes commonly attributed to aging are caused by the sun.
  • Contrary to popular belief, 80 percent of a person's lifetime sun exposure is not acquired before age 18; only about 23 percent of lifetime exposure occurs by age
  • Nonmelanoma Skin Cancer Incidence Jumps by Approximately 300 percent

    Recently released data show an alarming increase in skin cancer incidence: A study in the Archives of Dermatology revealed that more than two million people in the US are develop over 3.5 million nonmelanoma skin cancers every year. This constitutes a more than 300 percent increase in skin cancer incidence since 1994, when rates were last estimated

    The latest figures confirm that skin cancer, the world’s most common cancer, is truly an epidemic. There are more new cases annually than the combined incidence of cancers of the breast, prostate, lung, and colon. While skin cancer, particularly nonmelanoma skin cancer, is usually very treatable when caught early, it should not be taken lightly. Skin cancers have a high rate of recurrence, and anyone who has had one runs an increased risk of developing another skin cancer, including melanoma. Additionally, people who have had nonmelanoma skin cancer have twice the risk of developing other malignancies, such as lung, colon, and breast cancers. Melanoma, the deadliest skin cancer, may metastasize (spread) to distant tissues or organs, and can be life-threatening, if not detected and treated quickly.


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Sunscreen alone is not enough.Read our list of skin cancer prevention tips.

  1.   Wear protective clothing

    Wearing hats and clothing that covers the skin are excellent ways to reduce your risk of skin cancer. Eyes are also susceptible to sun damage, so be sure to wear sunglasses that are UV protectant.

  2. Avoid direct exposure to midday sun.Avoid going outdoors from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. This is when the sun's rays are brightest, causing the most damage to skin. If you have to go outdoors, be sure to lather on sunscreen.
  3.  Use sunscreen.I know you have heard it a million times, but sunscreen really is one of your best bets in preventing skin cancer, especially if you spend a lot of time outdoors. Experts recommend choosing a sunscreen that is at least SPF 30 or higher. Apply 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) of sunscreen to your entire body 30 minutes before going outside. Reapply every two hours.

  4. Monitor childrens' sun exposure. Did you know that many cases of skin cancer and melanoma link back to bad sunburns and exposure as a child? Children especially need to stay out of the sun, wear sunblock and other protective clothing like hats & sunglasss.

  5. Keep newborns out of the sun. Sunscreens should be used on babies over the age of six months
  6. Avoid tanning and UV tanning booths

    1 in 5 Americans will be diagnosed with Skin Cancer, over the course of a lifetime!

     

    The good news is there are lots of ways to reduce your risk.

     

    Throughout this month we will be bringing you information on what you can do to protect yourself and your family

     

    What is the UV index, what does it mean?

     

    The UV Index is an international standard measurement developed by the National Weather Service and US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). It indicates the strength of solar ultraviolet radiation at a particular place on a particular day. The UV index predicts the intensity of ultraviolet rays on a scale from 1 to 11 where 1 is for very low ultraviolet rays and 11 is for extremely high ultraviolet rays.

     

    Its purpose is to help you take the necessary precautions to protect yourself from UV rays

     

    Check your region's UV Index:

     

    UV Index

    Description

    Color

    2 or less

    Minimal (No harm to the average person)

    Green

    3 to 5

    Low (Little risk of harm- wearing a hat and SPF 15 sunscreen is recommended)

    Yellow

    6 to 8

    High (High risk from overexposure to the sun- cover your body with sun protective clothing, wear sunglasses and a hat, use SPF 30+ sunscreen and it is recommended to stay indoors between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.)

    Orange

    8 to 10

    Very high (Very high risk of harm- cover your body with sun protective clothing, wear sunglasses and a hat, use SPF 30+ sunscreen and it is recommended to stay indoors between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. )

    Red

    +11

    Extremely high (Extremely high risk of harm- cover your body with sun protective clothing, wear sunglasses and a hat, use SPF 30+ sunscreen and it is recommended to stay indoors between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.)

    Violet


     

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