Posted by: Patricia Hysong | July 25, 2013

July is UV Safety Month

EPA UV Index
UV Index
 

What do you think is the most common type of cancer in the United States?

Lung?
Breast?
Colon?
 

Nope, all good guesses but the most common form of cancer in the United States is non other than Skin Cancer.

It is estimated that one in five Americans will get skin cancer in their lifetime. There are more cases of melanoma being reported and this has health officials concerned. Melanoma is a potentially deadly form of skin cancer and is one of the most common cancers reported in the United States among people 15 to 29 years of age.

The key to preventing most skin cancers, in large part is up to you and how you protect yourself and those you care about from harmful UV rays. Here are a few things to remember when trying to prevent skin cancer.

  • Limit exposure to the sun-enjoy the shade more
  • Reduce UV exposure from indoor tanning devices-any burn or tan is a sign of skin damage
  • Use sunscreen-when purchasing sunscreen, read the label and make sure it is labeled “Broad Spectrum” and has an SPF of at least 15 (the higher the SPF, the better!)
  • Wear long sleeves, long pants, and a wide-brimmed hat (UV-blocking sunglasses don’t hurt either!)
  • Check the UV index-the EPA offers a free UV index app
  • Check your skin monthly for changes-early detection is key to effective treatment

There are simple, effective ways to decrease your risk of developing skin cancer. Taking action to protect yourself and those you care about by sharing information and preventative measures may save lives not to mention thousands if not hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical expenses.

For more information, visit the EPA website and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services website.

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