Skin Cancer Awareness Month
Skin Cancer Awareness Month

May is a time to raise awareness about the dangers of skin cancer and to encourage everyone to take steps to protect themselves from this prevalent yet preventable disease.

Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States and worldwide. In the US alone, more than 9,500 people are diagnosed every day. This means that at least one in five Americans will develop skin cancer by the time they reach 70 years old. 

Never Skip Your Sunscreen

There are different types of skin cancers: Basal cell carcinoma (BCC), Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC), Melanoma, and more. BCC is the most common form of skin cancer with approximately 3.6 million diagnosed cases per year in the US. Melanoma and MCC are more rare but also more dangerous.

UV exposure is the number one risk factor for skin cancers, so the Skin Cancer Foundation recommends everyone to use a broad-spectrum sunscreen of at least 15 SPF or higher every day. “Broad spectrum” means that the sunscreen will protect against UVA and UVB rays. 

The Skin Cancer Foundation also recommends that you should:

  • Wear water resistant sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher for strenuous outdoor activity or swimming, even on cloudy days.
  • Reapply sunscreen every two hours.
  • Wear protective clothing, such as a hat and sunglasses, when you’re outdoors.
  • Avoid tanning beds and sun lamps.
  • Limit your time in the sun, especially between 10am and 4pm, when the sun’s rays are strongest.

Skin cancer is unique in that they form on the outside of your body and are typically visible even to the untrained eye. Everyone should complete a skin self-exam every month to look for anything new, changing, or unusual. If you see anything, you should follow up with a dermatologist right away. 

Skin Cancer Awareness Month

Even if you don’t see anything during your self-checks, it is important to have an annual appointment with your dermatologist. They can check for spots you may not be able to see.

For more information about completing a skin check self-exam, visit The Big See.

To learn more about the different types of skin cancer, skin cancer prevention strategies, and risk factors, visit The Skin Cancer Foundation

The Full of Hope Foundation provides financial assistance to all kinds of cancer patients in Arizona. If you are facing a diagnosis of skin cancer and are in need of financial assistance, please apply today.

If you are not an Arizona cancer patient, please consider making a donation to the Full of Hope Foundation to allow us to continue providing financial support to cancer patients in Arizona and their families.