Skin cancer

Melanoma is the most serious type of skin cancer and can be life-threatening. Tens of thousands of new cases of melanoma are reported annually to the American Skin Cancer Society. When cells in the body are malignant, it creates an environment ideal for melanoma. These cells form tumors that are often dark-colored but can also be skin-colored or pinkish.

The four categories of melanomas are defined by the depth of their location in the skin. The closer the melanoma is to the surface of the skin, the more likely it is to be treatable. That’s why early detection is crucial.

Prevention is key in avoiding the health risks and damage that skin cancer creates. The Skin Cancer Foundation suggests the following facts and ways to protect yourself and your family from the sun:

  • Don’t sunbathe.
  • Avoid unnecessary sun exposure during the peak hours for harmful UV rays— 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
  • When outdoors, use sunscreens rated at least SPF15. Apply it liberally, uniformly and frequently.
  • Wear protective clothing when exposed to sunlight.
  • Avoid tanning beds.
  • Teach your children good sun protection habits.
  • Examine your skin from head to toe at least once every few months.
  • Wear sunglasses that protect against UV rays

 

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