May is Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month

Helpful Tips for Preventing Skin Cancer/Melanoma

• Protect yourself from the sun’s UV rays. Wear clothing to protect as much skin possible, including long sleeves, a wide-brimmed hat, and sunglasses

• Limit direct sun exposure during midday, seeking areas of shade. UV rays are strongest between the hours of 10 am and 4 pm

• Wear “broad-spectrum” sunscreen that provides protection against both UVA and UVB rays with an SPF of at least 30

• Apply sunscreen liberally. Reapply every 2 hours and after swimming or exercising

• Wear sunscreen year-round, even on cloudy days

Avoid tanning beds and sunlamps

• Perform monthly head to toes self-exams in front of a full-length mirror, in a well-lit room. A handheld mirror is helpful to view areas that are hard to see. Take note of any moles, marks or freckles on your skin so you will be able to notice any changes

• Think “ABCDE” to remind yourself what to look for
Asymmetry: The shape of one half doesn’t match the other
Border: Irregular, ragged, notched, or blurred edges
Color: Areas of uneven coloring including: black, brown, tan, white, gray,
red, pink or blue
Diameter: There’s a change in size
Evolving: The mole has changed over a few weeks or months

• See your Doctor or Dermatologist yearly for a full body skin exam

• Get Vitamin D safely through a healthy anti-cancer diet or vitamin supplements

tips to prevent skin cancer

Skin cancer is one of the most avoidable types of cancer common in our society. Following these simple tips on a regular basis will help you prevent skin cancer and all the stressors that it brings. Skin cancer prevention is one of those things that is most effective when you devote a little effort to it each and every day. If you put it off for too long, eventually you could face insurmountable odds in trying to fight it off. 

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