Did you know that May is also skin cancer awareness month? In the United States, 9500 people are diagnosed with skin cancer every day. In fact, 20% of people (1 in 5) will develop skin cancer at some point in their lifetime. Melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, kills 1 American every hour. But the good news is, with early intervention and treatment, the 5-year survival rate for those with the disease is 98%. The key is catching it early, and sometimes we need help.
“Research shows that women are 9x more likely than men to find melanoma on others.”  The American Academy of Dermatology put out this fun video illustrating this point:
What can you do to stop skin cancer?
The American Academy of Dermatology suggests a few ideas of things you can do to help stop skin cancer: 
- Wear sunscreen. Putting on sunscreen before you head outdoors can be one of the biggest things you can do in your fight to prevent skin cancer. Look for sunscreens with a high SPF rating and be diligent about applying sunscreen before you head outside.
- “Motivate teachers and administrators to teach kids about the harm of UV radiation and why it’s important to protect yourself.
- Identify youth leaders in your community who can talk to their peers about taking steps to prevent skin cancer.
- Partner with a local hospital, state fair, or similar organization to host a skin cancer screening event.”
The Skin Cancer Foundation (skincancer.org) has some additional tips, as well, including the following: 
- Seek the shade, especially between 10 AM and 4 PM.
- Do not burn.
- Avoid tanning and never use UV tanning beds.
- Cover up with clothing, including a broad-brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses.
- Use a broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher every day. For extended outdoor activity, use a water-resistant, broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.
- Apply 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) of sunscreen to your entire body 30 minutes before going outside. Reapply every two hours or immediately after swimming or excessive sweating.
- Keep newborns out of the sun. Sunscreens should be used on babies over the age of six months.
- Examine your skin head-to-toe every month.
- See your physician every year for a professional skin exam.
Finally, using the information from curemelanoma.org, follow the melanoma detection ABCs: 
Subscribe To Our Newsletter
Get the latest news, updates, and educational articles (like this one) from Horizon Family Medical Group. Stay in touch and share with friends.