May is skin cancer awareness month and doctors are encouraging those hoping to soak up the sun to take steps toward cancer prevention.
There are different types of skin cancer but doctors say the deadliest is melanoma.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, an estimated 7,230 Americans will die of melanoma just this year.
Doctors say if you plan on being outside, apply sunscreen at least 30 minutes beforehand.
Make sure it’s at least SPF 30 and protects against both UVA and UVB rays.
Then reapply about every 2 hours.
“Using a high SPF sunscreen is certainly going to be beneficial. When you’re sweating or in water all of these different activities can make it come off so making sure you continue to apply it at a regular basis is going to be important,” says Nathan Jones, D.O. Radiation Oncologist at Sparrow’s Herbert-Herman Cancer Center.
When it comes to skin cancer, doctors say you should check your skin head to toe once a month.
“Non-melanomas skin cancer a lot of times is going to be a lesion or a wound that bleeds that doesn’t ever really quite heal up or something that kind of continues to grow or change over time,” says Jones.
He says probably one of the most common things we think of when hearing skin cancer is misshaped moles.
So how do you know if a mole could be cancerous? He says use your ABC’s.
A – Asymmetry
B – Border
C – Color
D – Diameter
E – Evolving
These warning signs could point to melanoma.
Sparrow’s Herbert-Herman Cancer Center will be offering free skin cancer screenings Wednesday, June 5 from 5-7PM.
The Herbert-Herman Cancer Center is located at 1140 E. Michigan Avenue in Lansing, MI 48912.
BY APPOINTMENT ONLY call 1-800-772-7769