Skin Cancer Awareness Month
May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month.
Many people don’t realize what a serious threat skin cancer is. It is the most common form of cancer for women aged 25 to 30 and the second most common form of cancer for men and women ages 15 to 30.Skin cancer is one of the more common forms of cancer but also one that is largely preventable.
Here are some tips:
- Wear sunscreen : Choose a broad spectrum UVA / UVB
NOTE: Some sunscreens have ingredients that may be irritating for your skin or could potentially be harmful to your skin, try the Environmental Worker’s Group website’s rating system that will tell you what ingredients your sunscreen has in it. It breaks down which sunscreens (and makeups, shampoos, etc.) will work the best and which won’t, and why! Great resource.
- Reapply every one to two hours
- Stay out of the sun between 11am and 3pm
- Examine your skin every month: Try this step-by-step self exam guide
- Get professional exams annually or if you detect something suspicious.
- Wear UV protective clothing
In a Teen Vogue article, Caitlin, talks about being diagnosed with skin cancer at age 24 due to indoor tanning. She chose to indoor tan even though she was well aware of the risks.
The article also cites a statistic from the World Health Organization that a teen’s first time in a tanning bed increases their risk of skin cancer by 75%.
Luckily there are a number of organizations dedicated to spreading awareness about skin cancer and states are even stepping up to the plate to fight for our skin. California recently passed a law making tanning illegal for people under 18 years of age. Other states are considering similar legislation.
To get a full summary of your current state laws and what laws your state is considering please see this link to the National Conference of State Legislators website.
Of course the tanning industry is none too happy about this. The Indoor Tanning Association is fighting back touting the benefits of vitamin D. Yes, UV exposure is necessary for your body to produce vitamin D. But, you can also get vitamin D from a vitamin – and vitamins don’t give you skin cancer.
I thought that this extremely creative marketing campaign summed it up nicely: