May is recognized as skin cancer prevention month. Everyone needs to use skin protection regardless of your age, gender, or race. UV (Ultraviolet) exposure from the sun can be prevented to lessen the chances of developing skin cancer.
There are many types of skin cancer, but the deadliest form is melanoma. One in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime and is the most common cancer type in the United States. Blistering sunburns in your childhood or adolescence can almost double your chance of developing melanoma. Wearing sunscreen is also advised even on cloudy days, as your skin can still be exposed to UV rays.
Sun protection not only prevents skin cancer but can reduce the risk or premature skin again, including wrinkles and age spots.
We would like to advise any patients undergoing chemotherapy treatment to use sun protection. According to NYCBS oncologist Dr. William LiPera, "multiple studies have shown that UV radiation from the sun cannot only cause deadly skin cancers like melanoma, but it can also make the effects of chemotherapy, worse."
It’s important to choose the right kind of sunscreen. Sunscreen that is 30 SPF or higher, with UVA/UVB protection and water-resistant is recommended. Sunscreen will wear off over time and should be reapplied every couple of hours. Have fun in the sun, but taking small steps to reduce sunburns is essential. Make sure to start protecting your skin today to protect your future!