May is Melanoma Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month. Throughout this month, everyone is encouraged to do their part to raise skin cancer awareness. The key to preventing skin cancer is to use sunscreen, covering up and avoiding too much sun. It is important for skin cancer to be detected early, as it is usually treatable with early detection.
In the United States, skin cancer is the most common cancer type. The sun’s ultraviolet rays are the main cause of cancer of the skin. Ultraviolet radiation can also come from sunlamps or tanning booths. Melanoma is the most dangerous type of cancer of the skin. When this is found early and treated immediately, this is usually cured. Families, health professionals and communities can work together to prevent skin cancer and help with early detection.
Making a Difference
To make a difference this month, it is important that you spread the word about prevention strategies for skin cancer. Encourage individuals, families, organizations and communities to become involved. You can use the month of May to help increase everyone’s awareness about how important prevention measures and early detection of skin cancer is. This is important both at home and in the greater community.
Good Habits Count
Good habits are something you can do as an individual and also something you can encourage the rest of the family to practice. This means limiting the time spend in the sunshine and wearing sunscreen. Depending on the type of your skin, you may be more prone to skin cancer than people with other skin types. Your best bet would be to get in touch with a dermatologist and get a check up to ensure that the strange new sunspots you developed recently are perfectly normal. What most people are not aware of is how important early detection really is.
Ideas for the Month of May
- Partner with organizations such as the state fair or hospital and host a screening even for skin cancer.
- Motivate administrators and teachers to teach children about ultraviolet radiation harm and why protecting yourself is very important.
- Identify community youth leaders that can talk to their peer group to taking skin cancer prevention steps.
Not Just for Summer
When it comes to skin cancer detection and prevention, this is something that you need to do all year round and not just during summer or during the month of May, for that matter. No matter what the season is, protecting yourself is very important. You probably already have the habit of packing sunscreen for a day at the pool or beach. However, the sun happens to shine all year round and reducing your total sun exposure each year is always a good idea. Exposure each day does count and you do not need to sunbathe actively to get a dose of sun damage. Practice basic sun protection by applying SPF 15 sunscreen liberally to all your exposed skin no matter what the weather is whenever you leave your home and do activities outdoors.