Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the U.S. The purpose of Melanoma/Skin Cancer awareness month in May is to focus on preventing the deadliest form of skin cancer, melanoma. Excessive exposure to the UV radiation of the sun and indoor tanning devices is the most important preventable cause of all skin cancers, including melanoma. Allowed to grow, melanoma can spread to other parts of the body. And when it does, it can be deadly.
To protect your skin – and your children’s -from harmful ultraviolet radiation, WESTMED dermatologist Dr. Saryna Young advises: “Only choose sunscreens that are labeled ‘broad spectrum’. meaning they protect from both UVA and UVB rays.” They will have either zinc oxide or titanium dioxide as a main ingredient.
A new study from Ohio University Comprehensive Cancer Center has found that applying sunscreen with SPF 30 reduces the risk of melanoma by 80%.
Dr. Young says, “When detected in its earliest stages, melanoma is highly curable.” The average five-year survival rate for individuals whose melanoma is detected and treated before it spreads to the lymph nodes is 98 percent.