Forgive me if I appear to be a party pooper now that we all wish to laze on a beach after the long coronavirus lockdown. Sunbathing in the summer sunshine lifts our spirits, banishes depression and will bring joy to our hearts after the coronavirus worry of the past months. But don’t forget that over-exposure to the sun’s warm rays can cause skin cancer.
Cancer Prevention is better than Cancer Cure!
We can reduce the risk of skin cancer, (melanoma), by remembering to protect our bare skin from excess exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation. It is essential that we engage in good sun exposure habits, applying a ‘broad spectrum’ sunscreen against UVA and UVB, with a protection factor of at least 30. And we need to stay out of the sun in late morning and early afternoon, when the UV exposure is at its most intense.
We all know by now that indoor tanning beds present a danger of over-exposure to UV radiation, adding to skin cancer risk. But bronzing our body on that sunny beach can do exactly the same thing. That ‘healthy Tan’ ceases to be Healthy if it results in skin cancer. This is particularly so with young children. Overexposure to the sun’s UV rays during childhood and adolescence is a major factor in determining future skin cancer risk..
Middle-aged and older white people should regularly check their skin for unusual moles, sores, lumps, blemishes or changes in the way their skin looks. If more people did this every month, then fewer people would need treatment for advanced melanoma.
The number of people in Europe UK, USA and Australasia who die each year from skin cancer has dramatically decreased in recent years, thanks to a wave of new treatments and drugs, including targeted therapies and immunotherapy. But skin cancer can kill.
Stopcancer’Health Be Sun-Safe this Summer
NHS UK Sun screen and sun safety
American Cancer Society Signs and symptoms of Skin Cancer
Cancer Council Australia Sun protection, infants and adolescents.
National Cancer Institute Deaths from Metastatic Melanoma Drop Substantially in the United States