SIMPLE TIPS TO KEEP YOU SAFE
It’s #FACTUAL FRIDAY everyone and time for another installment of Skin Cancer Safety. May is SKIN CANCER AWARENESS MONTH – and the more we know about the most common cancer in the world, the safer we’ll be.
When we combine the three types of skin cancer, including basel cell, squamous cell and melanoma – we have a cancer that occurs more than any other cancer. And, while the first two types of this cancer are less serious and typically can be treated successfully, the third type – melanoma – can be deadly if not caught early.
Of course, our first defense against any cancer is prevention. But, in order to do that, we need to arm ourselves with all the information we can.
Over the last two weeks we’ve discussed the MAIN CAUSES of skin cancer and the RISK FACTORS that are linked to this disease. So, today let’s discuss a few simple TIPS TO KEEP YOU SAFE IN THE SUN.
Let’s begin with a FEW FACTS:
- The main cause of skin cancer — ultraviolet rays or solar radiation — is present all year round.
- These rays are the strongest from 10 AM to 2 PM.
- The strength of UV rays in any location is determined by the latitude – or how far the location is from the earth’s equator.
- The strength of UV rays also will increase in locations that have a drier climate and a higher altitude.
- UV rays from sunlight are greater during the late spring and early summer in North America.
And, remember from last week’s discussion that these damaging UV rays do not just exist outdoors. They can penetrate glass and can be harmful even in the relative safety of an office building, car or airplane.
Now, we know there is just no way we can eliminate UV rays completely and protect ourselves from harm.
But, a few SIMPLE LIFESTYLE CHANGES will go a long way in protecting us from solar radiation:
- WEAR A HAT. A hat will offer a huge amount of protection not only for our sensitive scalp, but a wide brim also will protect our neck, ears and face.
- DON’T FORGET SUNGLASSES. Make sure these are the wrap-around And, make sure they block both UVA and UVB rays. Not only will this protect the sensitive skin around our eyes from damage, it will protect our eyes from harmful conditions, including cataracts.
- MADE IN THE SHADE. The warm, bright summer sun is enticing – but during the peak hours of the day stay in the shade. Midday sun is the most damaging – even on a cloudy day.
- WEAR SUN-SAFE CLOTHING. If your occupation or hobbies keep you in the sun for long hours, be sure to wear protective clothing. Choose sun-safe garments that cover your arms and legs – especially if your exposure includes water or snow – both of which reflect UV rays.
- USE SUNSCREEN. Always. Even if you work in an office every day, always apply sunscreen to the exposed parts of your skin such as your neck, face and hands. Make sure it’s a broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB rays – and make sure its SPF protection factor is at least 15 or higher. Also, if you’re outdoors, reapply your sunscreen every 2 to 3 hours.
- AVOID TANNING. We probably don’t have to mention this again – but, let’s err on the side of caution. It doesn’t matter if it’s outdoor tanning or indoor tanning. It’s harmful for our skin and should always be avoided. Our skin is our largest organ – and everything that impacts it, impacts every other organ. For good or bad.
Again, this information seems so self-explanatory. And these simple tips for sun safety sound very straight forward. Yet, skin cancer remains the most common cancer in the world. Because sometimes when something is very simple, it’s overlooked and we don’t pay attention like we should.
A GOOD RULE TO REMEMBER: If the time of day is unknown and your shadow is longer than your height, the sun is less than 45 degrees above the horizon and solar radiation is at its lowest intensity 😊
Remember, we always say that SMALL STEPS LEAD TO BIG CHANGES. Never underestimate the simple things we can do every day to protect our health and the health of our loved ones.
On that note, we’ll wrap this discussion up. And, we’ll continue next week with information about the most important preventive measure we have to beat skin cancer – THE FULL BODY CHECK.
Thanks for joining me everyone. Until next time, stay in GOOD HEALTH and . . .