Melanoma is the fastest growing cancer in the world, specifically in young people, and the deadliest form of skin cancer. It can attack and shut down major organs in the body, including the brain, lungs, bones and muscles, very quickly. Melanoma can develop from excessive exposure to the sun or other forms of ultraviolet lights, including tanning beds.
Skin cancer is more common in fair-skinned people, especially those with blonde or red hair and light eyes. Risk factors include a family history of melanoma, sun exposure, early childhood sunburns, many freckles and more than 50 ordinary moles.
SKIN CANCER PREVENTION TIPS
The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends using a sunscreen with an SPF 15 or higher as one important part of a complete sun protection regimen. Sunscreen alone is not enough, however. See this full list of skin cancer prevention tips:
- Seek the shade especially between 10 AM and 4 PM.
- Do not burn.
- Avoid tanning and UV tanning booths.
- Cover up with clothing, including a broad-brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses.
- Use a broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher every day.
- For extended outdoor activity, use a water-resistant, broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.
- Apply 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) of sunscreen to your entire body 30 minutes before going outside.
- Reapply every two hours or immediately after swimming or excessive sweating.
- Keep newborns out of the sun. Sunscreens should be used on babies over the age of six months.
- Examine your skin head-to-toe every month.
- See your physician every year for a professional skin exam.