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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have designated May as Skin Cancer Awareness Month. Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States and includes several types such as basil cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma. The sun’s UV rays can damage unprotected skin in as little as 15 minutes. Tanning beds can be just as dangerous as being sunburned. More than 1 million Americans are diagnosed with skin cancer each year, and over 11,600 will die from it.
Skin cancer is largely preventable. Using sunscreen with SPF 15 and both UVA and UVB (broad-spectrum) protection as well as wearing clothing that covers one’s arms and legs will help protect against the sun’s harmful rays. Be sure to protect your head, face, ears, and neck by wearing a wide-brimmed hat.
Ask your primary care provider to check your skin for any changes in moles or marks. A dermatologist will be able to provide important information and treatments, if required.
To learn more about skin cancer, try these resources: The American Cancer Society’s Quick Facts, USA Today’s Health Reports: Diseases and Disorders by Connie Goldsmith and Frequently Asked Questions about Skin Cancer by John M. Shea.
The Community Health Library Branch is located on the first floor of Summa Barberton Hospital. We are open Monday-Friday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Our phone number is 330-615-3105. Questions can be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.