The chance of skin cancer heats up on sunny summer days, when people spend more time outdoors.
That’s why the National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention named the Friday before Memorial Day “Don’t Fry Day.” This year it falls on May 27. Don’t Fry Day was created to remind you to protect your skin whenever you’re outside.
Skin cancer is the most common kind of cancer. It’s vital to protect your skin — every day! More than 3.5 million cases of non-melanoma skin cancer are diagnosed each year in the United States. And about 73,000 cases of melanoma (the most serious form of skin cancer) were found in 2015.
It’s best to find skin cancer early, when it can be cured. To catch skin cancer at an early stage, watch for skin changes. Check with your doctor if you notice new moles or growths or changes to existing ones.
Always Protect Yourself from UV Damage
Most skin cancers are caused by overexposure to UV radiation. That can come from the sun and other sources like tanning beds.
People with lighter skin are more likely to get UV damage, though people of all races and ethnicities can be at risk for skin cancer.
Those who have a family history of skin cancer, many moles or freckles, or a history of bad sunburns early in life are at a higher risk for skin cancer.
Protect Your Skin Outdoors:
- Do not burn or tan
- Seek shade
- Wear sun-protective clothing
- Slather on sunscreen
- Find a product that offers sun protection for your lips
The American Cancer Society Reminds Us to Slip! Slop! Slap! and Wrap®:
Slip on a shirt
Slop on broad-spectrum sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher
Slap on a wide-brimmed hat
Wrap on sunglasses
Protect Those Peepers
Your eyes are at risk, too. UV radiation, from sunlight or artificial sources, can damage both the surface of the eye and internal parts, such as the cornea and lens. This damage can even lead to blindness.
Those who work or play in the sun for long hours are most at risk. Remember that radiation can come from many directions, including reflections off of pavement and water.
To help prevent damage:
- Always wear the right kind of protective eyewear, even on cloudy days.
- Wear wrap-around sunglasses that offer extra protection from the sides.
- Wear brimmed hats that offer protection from above.
Choose comfortable sunglasses that cut glare. UV protection does not have to cost a lot of money or get in the way of seeing clearly.
Remember, it’s important to project yourself from the sun every time you’re outside. And don’t forget that some of the worst sunburns happen on cloudy days. “Don’t fry” this summer!