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Reduce Your Risk Of Skin Cancer This Summer

Author: Arthur Truax

Reduce your risk of skin cancer this summer

Summer is a great time to be outdoors, however exposure to the sun's ultraviolet radiation can cause one of the most common types of cancer. Skin cancer affects more than a million Americans every year according to the American Cancer Society, but it can be prevented.

The condition is usually detected by changes to the skin, especially the size or color of moles, growths or spots. If found in the early stages the cancer is treatable, but it can spread to other organs and result in death. Melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer, has a five-year survival rate of 91 percent, but accounts for nearly 9,000 deaths each year, according to the American Cancer Society.

Protect yourself from overexposure to the sun by limiting your activities outdoors during peak hours of the day. The sun's radiation is most intense between noon and 3 p.m., increasing the risk of a sunburn. If you do need to be outside, try to stay in the shade and wear sunblock with SPF 15 or greater.

Wearing the proper clothing can also help reduce your risk of skin cancer. Wear a wide-brimmed hat to help shade your face, ears and neck. Comfortable clothing with tight weaving can help protect your body from exposure, while sunglasses with UV absorption will help protect your eyes and surrounding areas.

These precautions should be used throughout the year. The sun's rays are strongest during the summer, but you are exposed to UV rays even on cloudy winter days. Children spend a lot of time playing outdoors and are also at risk for the effects of overexposure. Teach your children to use sunscreen and other prevention habits

In Brief

  • Summer is a great time to be outdoors, however exposure to the sun's ultraviolet radiation can cause one of the most common types of cancer.
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