Summer Is Near: Ways to Protect Yourself from Skin Cancer

Summer officially starts next month.  That means family barbecues, trips to the beach, or just enjoying the warm weather outside.  With that in mind, it’s important to know that Melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer is on the increase.  While melanoma only accounts for 4 percent of skin cancers, it is responsible for 79 percent of skin cancer deaths.  On the bright side, melanoma is treatable when diagnosed early, and all you need to know are simple steps to prevent it from happening to you.  Here are some simple tips to follow:

  1. Cover up

Sun exposure is important for the production of Vitamin D.  However, it only takes 10 minutes to be out in the sun to get vitamin D.  Too much sun exposure during the day is not recommended but covering up with clothes with a thicker weave or have darker colors are the best protection from the sun’s harmful UV rays.

2. Choose the right SPF

Did you know that not all SPF sunscreens offer protection against UVA and UVB rays?  Only a number of sunscreens only block UVB rays.  If you’re planning for a beach getaway, look for sunscreens that protects against both UVA and UVB rays.  Medical officials recommend using a sunscreen with a SPF of at least 30.

3. Check your skin

Even though melanoma is typical for people in their 40’s & 50’s, anyone can get the skin cancer.  Have a yearly skin check with your dermatologist and check out things in your skin that are abnormal.  If a mole is larger, darker, black or bleeding, you should go see a doctor.  Areas of the upper back and legs are often exposed to the sun, so check them for irregularities especially.

4. Have a diet rich of fruits and vegetables

A diet rich in fruits and vegetables helps fight against most cancers.

Remember, melanoma is treatable with surgery if it is found early.  Melanoma is so easy to prevent, and as you found out, it can be prevented easily.  So follow these tips as you venture out this summer knowing you’re protected and stay safe and have fun out there this summer.

Credit source: Dr. Manny Alvarez (Fox News’ Health consultant and expert).

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