May Is Skin Cancer Prevention Month – Know the Facts

The warm weather is upon us…finally!  This weekend is going to be a hot one!  And with Memorial Day weekend, the unofficial start of summer, just around the corner it is time to enjoy the outdoors. The sun feels amazing after a cold winter and rainy spring.  While we are outdoors more of our skin is exposed and we are at a greater risk of getting skin cancer. May is Skin Cancer Prevention Month.  Know the facts, there are 3 types of skin cancer: melanoma (the most serious), basal cell and squamous cell. Melanoma may form from an existing mole or may be a new mole. It is important with melanoma to look at the ABCDE’s of the mole:

Border is irregular
Color is uneven
Diameter is increasing

skin cancer

With basal cell and squamous cell a bump can form that may get a scab or bleed. It can be scaly or tender also. If you see any types of changes with lumps or moles on your skin, have your doctor check it out. Early detection is essential to successful removal of the cancer before it spreads (melanoma).

Prevention is the best course of action with skin cancer. Prevention is easy. Stay out of the sun between 10am and 2pm (if possible), use sunscreen with at least SPF 30 daily and reapply often when sweating or swimming, wear a hat, use umbrellas at the beach, wear long sleeves and pants while doing yard work. Regular skin checks are important year round.

Summer is fun, just protect your skin and you can enjoy the season!