Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States. More than 2 million people are diagnosed each year. Melanoma (the most dangerous form of skin cancer) is the leading cause of death from skin disease. Utah currently leads the nation in incidence rate for melanoma of the skin. UV radiation is thought to be the #1 risk factor for most skin cancers, and guess what? It is preventable!
Here is what you can do to stay protected…
• Wear sunscreen year-round. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15. Make sure to reapply every 2 hours, and after sweating or getting wet.
• Avoid the sun when it is the strongest. The sun’s rays are the strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., so you should seek shade between these hours.
• Wear protective clothing. Sunscreen is not enough to completely protect you from the sun’s damaging rays. Choose long sleeves and pants when possible and wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses when going outdoors.
• Do not indoor tan. Indoor tanning increases your risk of getting skin cancer, especially among those who begin tanning at an earlier age.
Even though skin cancer is the most common, it is also the most preventable! Remember to practice sun-safe behaviors while enjoying outdoor activities this summer. If you have questions or would like additional information please contact the Salt Lake County Health Department at 385-468-4100 or visit www.slcohealth.org.