So many people have a love affair with the sun. It makes you feel good, look good. Many people love the warmth of the sun.
Here in South Florida sun exposure is a way of life. The Jupiter beaches are amazingly beautiful with powder white sand and sparkly blue waters. The Loxahatchee River is a wide waterway of scenic beauty leading to a wildlife preserve and nature sanctuary. Being outdoors and on or near the water is a way of life. Awareness about sun safety and information on tanning beds is essential. Skin cancer awareness is a Floridian way of life. As with many cancers, early diagnosis and treatment can be very effective. The YouTube video entitled "Dear 16 Year Old Me" is very direct and pertains to the extremes of melanomas. Many of Florida schools have shared this video, along with educational materials to older students to properly educate them on sensible sun care.
Skin cancers include melanoma, basal cell, and squamous cell. Basal and squamous cell are more common and treatment is very effective. Malignant melanoma, especially in later stages is serious and can be difficult to treat. Sun exposure is the biggest cause of melanoma and other cancers.
The American Cancer Society states that 3.5 million skin cancers are diagnosed each year in the United States. That’s more than all other cancers combined.
The GOOD NEWS is that there is a lot you can do to protect yourself and your family from skin cancer!
PROTECTING YOURSELF IS VITAL. Did you know that one hour in the sun wearing SPF 30 is the same as two minutes with no protection? Wear a sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB rays. Wear an SPF of at least 30. Make sure your sunscreen is water resistant – 40 minutes of total protection. Sunscreens can expire, so check the expiration date. Reapply your sunscreen every two hours.
Other ways to protect yourself in addition to sunscreen are avoid tanning beds, seek shade during peak hours between 10am and 2pm, wear SPF clothing, wear a sun hat, and sunglasses. Learn more and stay protected at cancer.org/sunsafety.