MemorialCare Health System Your Health: Cancer Prevention
Prevent Skin Cancer While Enjoying the Summer Weather
With longer days and beach weather, summer brings more fun into your life. Favorite summer activities like baseball games, outside barbeques with family and beach volleyball bring you into direct contact with the sun's rays. While being in the sun is very enjoyable, it can often lead to skin cancer if you don't protect yourself.
Skin cancer is the most common type of all cancers – with melanoma being the most common type of skin cancer. Melanoma cancers develop from the pigment-making cells of the skin – melanocytes. These cells also can form into benign growths, called moles.
Basal and squamous cell skin cancers are the most common type of keratinocyte cancer. Keratinocyte cancers share features with keratinocytes – the most abundant type of normal skin cell. Each year, about 3.5 million basal and squamous cell skin cancers are diagnosed. Basal cell carcinomas are found in the lowest layer of the epidermis (skin). This slow-growing cancer, is usually developed on sun-exposed areas, especially in the head and neck region. Squamous cell carcinomas appear on sun-exposed areas of the body, such as the face, lips, ears, etc. Also, they can develop in scars and tend to be more aggressive than basal cell cancers.
The best way lower your risk of basal and squamous skin cancers is to limit your exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation emitted from the sun. Just a few simple sun safety measures can keep you protected all summer long.
Wear Protective Clothing
Grab A Hat
Put on Sunscreen
Shade it Up
By following these simple sun safety tips and getting screened for skin cancer, you are lowering your risk for skin cancer and can still continue to enjoy the summer sun.
Tips compiled from the American Cancer Association.
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