ACC Encourages Sun Protection by Being Sun S.M.AR.T
S.M.A.R.T stands for:
S – Slip on a hat or t-shirt
M – Move to the shade
A – Apply sunscreen
R – Re-apply sunscreen every few hours
T – Tell your friends to be Sun S.M.A.R.T
Skin Cancer is Common but Preventable
May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month
Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. It is estimated that more than 2 million people will be diagnosed with some form of skin cancer, and more than 10,000 will die due to skin cancer in the United States in 2015. Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer. In Arkansas, it is estimated that nearly 500 new cases of melanoma will be diagnosed in 2015. This May, the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) in partnership with the Arkansas Cancer Coalition (ACC), wants to raise awareness about the danger of skin cancers and remind Arkansans about the steps to prevent it.
“Melanoma is the most common form of cancer for young adults between 25 and 29 years- old, and the second most common form of cancer for young people between 15 and 29 years-old,” Dr. Appathurai Balamurugan, Medical Director for the Chronic Disease Prevention and Control Branch at ADH, said.
“This year, at our 25th annual skin cancer screening, our local dermatologist identified seven possible melanomas, nine basal cell and six squamous cell carcinomas in 132 people,” Sandy Prince, Vice President of Cancer Prevention and Education at Hope Cancer Resources in Springdale, and member of the Skin Cancer Workgroup at the ACC, said.
“Your skin is your largest organ. Protect it so it can protect you,” Price added.
Some of the risk factors for melanoma and other forms of skin cancer include: having fair skin that burns easily, unprotected or excessive exposure to UV radiation through sunlight or tanning booths, history of sunburns, having many moles, or having a family history of melanoma or other skin cancers.
If you have any of these risk factors, it is recommended that you examine your skin periodically to look for any new moles or changes in existing moles, or a sore that doesn’t heal. If you find any of these on your skin, you should talk with your doctor.
As we approach summer, many people are likely to be in the sun while outdoors. The following measures can help lower the risk of skin cancer:
- Stay in the shade, especially during midday hours
- Wear clothing that covers the arms and legs
- Wear a hat with a wide brim when in the sun
- Wear sunglasses that block both UVA and UVB rays
- Use sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher that provides both UVA and UVB protection
- Avoid indoor tanning
- See a doctor if areas of your skin, especially moles, change in appearance, size, shape, or color