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Everyone knows the basic skin cancer prevention methods, such as avoiding sunburns, tanning beds and using SPF 15 sunscreen.
These suggestions and others are given to every adult by the National Skin Cancer Foundation to increase awareness during the summer. They are a good reminder of the fact that skin cancer is the most common but still the most preventable form of cancer in the US. Around 3.3 million people receive treatment while one in five Americans develops this disease every year.
In spite of all this information, a survey from 2004 from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) established that 27 percent of Caucasian adults from Kentucky suffered sunburn damage in the previous year.
Plus, the rate of melanoma diagnoses increased in Kentucky with 14 percent above the national average and 1,260 citizens developed skin cancer in 2009. In addition to this, 136 people die annually because of melanoma.
Russell County from the south-central Kentucky is one of the top 2 percent counties in the U.S. rated for the most melanoma cases and Warren County, which has the 17th – highest death rate. Moreover, even if people are aware of the risks, they do not realize how easily you can get sunburnt. It is enough just to be out boating or golfing.
As May is the Skin Cancer Awareness Month, the National Skin Cancer Foundation provides everyone with some tips. The first one is called “The Shadow Rule” because you have to understand that while you are in the sun if your shadow is shorter than you, it means the UV rays are dangerous.
Second, if you previously had sunburns five times or more, you have a double risk of developing skin cancer. Tanning booths are dangerous as well because tanning machines increase the risk of skin cancer by 2.5. It is also important to cover your body with dense clothing, UV-blocking sunglasses, and large hats.
SPF 15 sunscreen or even higher is recommended when you are outside. Plus you need to apply it 30 minutes before going out and you should reapply it every two hours or after excessive sweating or swimming.
Last but not least, skin examination head-to-toe is imperative. People are advised to check for new moles, changes to existing moles, or other changes on the skin. All in all, visiting the doctor on a regular basis is also important in preventing skin cancer and informing yourself better.