|Basic InformationLatest News|How Much Sleep Do You Really Need?Healthy Heart in 20s, Better Brain in 40s?Health Tip: Getting Too Much Sun?Sunscreen Application Doesn't Provide Complete Body CoverHealth Tip: Protect Your Eyes During SummerHealth Tip: Check the Water Before SwimmingFlip-flops: Fun in the Sun, but Tough on FeetSound Sleep May Help You Junk the Junk FoodWhen Opinions Threaten FriendshipsBetter Diet, Longer Life?Health Tip: If Lifestyle Interferes With SleepDocs Should Counsel Even Healthy People on Diet, Exercise, Experts SayDaily Jolt of Java May Bring Longer LifeHealth Tip: When Air Quality is PoorKeep Your Summer Cookouts SafeMany Parts of the World Lack Soap for Hand-WashingHealth Tip: Yoga Before BedGetting Over GuiltHealth Tip: When Summer Heat Gets IntenseDon't Let Summer Strain Your BackFor Many, Friends Are Key to Happiness in Old AgeCould a High IQ Mean a Longer Life?Presence of Smartphone Cuts Available Cognitive CapacityProtect Your Skin From the Summer SunHealth Tip: Create a Food-and-Activity JournalHow to Dodge Summertime ThreatsHealth Tip: Basic Beach SafetyWallpaper May Breed Toxins: StudyHealth Tip: Are You Well Enough to Travel?Can Smartphone Use Bring on Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?Health Tip: Want Healthier Lungs?Tips to Curb Nighttime EatingExtreme Heat in Southwest a Deadly ThreatMany Americans May Be Taking Too Much Vitamin DHow to Beat Jet Lag This Summer VacationAmericans Want to Be Fit, But Most Don't Put in the EffortWith Climate Change, More Deadly Heatwaves Will StrikeAre U.S. Teens Now as Inactive as 60-Year-Olds?Summer Fun Is Not Without HazardsHappy Marriage, Healthier SpousesHave Scientists Created a Safe, Sun-Free Tan?Could You Spot Bed Bugs in a Hotel Room?Health Tip: Help Prevent Skin CancerNighttime Airport Noise May Raise Heart RisksHealth Tip: Prepare for a Safe Road TripCould Your Breakfast Cloud Your Judgment?Stay Safe as Summer Temps SoarWith Summer Sun Comes Heightened Skin Cancer RiskSLEEP: Weekend Sleep Changes Adversely Affect Health OutcomesGuard Against This Little-Known Swimming DangerLinksBook Reviews
With Summer Sun Comes Heightened Skin Cancer Risk
by -- Robert Preidt
Updated: Jun 11th 2017
SUNDAY, June 11, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Summer beckons, and with those sunny skies comes a warning to protect yourself from skin cancer.
"Skin cancer, like all types of cancer, is capable of destroying healthy tissue and spreading to distant body sites," said Dr. C. Blake Phillips, a fellow in the University of Alabama at Birmingham department of dermatology.
Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It's important to take steps to prevent it and to recognize the early signs.
"If undetected or untreated, skin cancers lead to loss of vital functions or death. It is important to keep an eye on your skin and watch for changes that could be a sign of skin cancer," Phillips added.
Most skin cancers occur due to exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun or other sources, such as tanning beds, said Phillips.
To protect your skin from the sun, dress properly and use sunscreen, he said.
"I recommend sunscreen with an SPF value of 30 or higher every day to exposed areas," Phillips said in a university news release.
"Look for products that don't feel greasy and block both UVA and UVB. Many regular moisturizers now contain sunscreens, making selection of a comfortable sunscreen quite easy and inexpensive," he said.
Also, wear sun-protective clothing and wide-brimmed hats with sunglasses. Don't go outside during the peak sun hours of the day (10 a.m. to 5 p.m.). Instead, do outdoor activities in morning or evening hours, he suggested.
If you do develop skin cancer, know that most "have an excellent cure rate if detected and treated early," Phillips said. "I encourage learning the signs of skin cancer and self-exams between clinic visits. Patient awareness is extremely helpful in early diagnosis."
The most common types of skin cancer are basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma.
"Signs of non-melanoma skin cancers include red lesions that steadily grow, non-healing sores or crusted areas on the skin, bumps with a "pearly" or translucent surface, and any tender growths on the skin's surface," according to the news release.
Melanoma is the deadliest type of skin cancer. Melanomas are darkly pigmented, discolored areas or bumps with an asymmetrical shape, irregular borders, or dark black or multicolored surface. While the majority of melanomas do not arise from moles, new or changing moles in adulthood should be examined, Phillips' and his colleagues said.
"You should see a doctor if you are concerned that a lesion is changing, is newly symptomatic, or is non-healing," Phillips said. "If you have a first-degree relative with melanoma or you have many dark moles, it's a good idea to have a baseline skin exam by a dermatologist."
Doctors should examine patients with prior skin pre-cancers or skin cancers at least once a year, but some patients require more frequent examinations.
The American Academy of Family Physicians has more on skin cancer.
This article: Copyright © 2017 HealthDay. All rights reserved.