We are approaching fall! Our kids have returned to school and have begun Fall Sports here in Fort Bend ISD. But in Houston, it can feel like summer until as late as November. So, we must keep in mind all the preventative measures to protect their skin and combat skin cancer.
Why? Well, skin cancer is still the most common cancer in the United States. Studies reveal than 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime. 1 in 5! 20% is not a small number. Also, skin cancer can affect anyone, regardless of skin color. All too often, in dark color skin patients, it is diagnosed in its later stages, when treatment is more difficult.
Melanoma (the most aggressive form of skin cancer) affects more commonly Caucasian males over the age of 50. Nonetheless, when a provider diagnoses melanoma in African American patients, it is usually at more advanced stages and because of it of worse prognosis.
In females aged 15-29, melanoma is the second most common form of cancer. And the incidence of melanoma in all populations has increased in the last 20 years to almost double. For all these reasons and more we should do all in our power to protect ourselves and our family members and to advocate for sun protection.
- Exposure to sun damaging UV rays.
- Use of tanning beds.
- Blistering sunburn during childhood.
- People with more than 50 moles or atypical moles.
- History of previous skin cancer.
Skin Cancer Prevention:
- Protection, protection, and more protection is the key!
- Use a sunscreen with a SPF factor of at least 30 to be applied every 2 hours or more frequently in cases of water sports or activities.
- Avoid being outdoors in direct exposure to the sun during the hours of 10 am and 3 pm.
- If sun avoidance is not an option, then find shaded areas.
- Even when using sunscreen, protect with appropriate clothes. Long and short sleeved rash guards, hats and sunglasses!
- Avoid tanning beds. If you like to sport a nice tan in the winter maybe tanning lotions can be a consideration for you.
- Children must be especially protected from the sun.
AFC Urgent Care
18310 W Airport Blvd Ste 100 Richmond, TX 77407