Can People Reduce Skin Cancer Risks?

Avoiding ultraviolet radiation reduces melanoma risk throughout the year

women on a beach protecting from the sun with an umbrella

As the Spring season approaches in the Northern Hemisphere, many people are seeking advice on how to avoid melanoma, a type of skin cancer.

The Centers for Dease Control and Prevention (CDC) said in 2019 ‘protection from ultraviolet (UV) radiation is important all year round, not just during the spring or summer.’

Melanoma is epidemiologically linked to UV exposure, either by sunlight or tanning beds, particularly childhood sunburn, says the CDC. UV rays can damage your skin in as little as 15 minutes. 

UV rays from sunlight are the greatest during the late spring and early summer in North America.

UV rays from the sun can reach you on cloudy and hazy days, not just on bright and sunny days. 

And, UV rays also reflect off of surfaces like water, cement, and sand.

On most days, the hours between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. are the most hazardous for UV exposure outdoors in the continental USA.

CDC recommends easy options for protection from UV radiation—

  • Stay in the shade, especially during midday hours.
  • Wear clothing that covers your arms and legs.
  • Wear a hat with a wide brim to shade your face, head, ears, and neck.
  • Wear sunglasses that wrap around and block both UVA and UVB rays.
  • Use sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or higher, and both UVA and UVB (broad spectrum) protection.
  • Avoid indoor tanning.

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A November 2019 study reported some good news in skin cancer reduction.

This study said the apparent 23 percent decline in the incidence of invasive melanoma in people younger than 30 years of age points to the success of skin cancer prevention efforts.

This is important news since, despite changes in melanoma therapy associated with improved survival, melanoma remains the deadliest skin cancer in the United States.

Nearly 5 million people are treated for skin cancer each year in the United States. 

And melanoma is the 5th most common cause of cancer in the United States, with more than 9,000 deaths per year, says the CDC.

Skin cancer news published by Vax-Before-Cancer.