Summer sun, summer fun and summer saftey all go hand in hand during the fabulous Summer time of the year.
Yes, the snow and ice have finally all melted away. It's time to bask in the glory of the sun's glow... or is it?
Note: Refer to Summer Hair Tips and Summer Hair Smarts: Quick Tips To Avoid Sun-Damaged Locks for hair care information.
Skin cancer awareness is glowing this month as bright as the sun.
Our skin is the largest organ on our body, which may explain why one in five Americans will be diagnosed with skin cancer and more than 90 percent of those cancers are due to sun exposure.
Skin Cancer is the Most Common Form of Cancer in the US
Did you know that 90% of skin cancer cases are due to sun exposure- How can you reduce your risk?
Our skin is our largest organ. It protects us from injury, infections, and regulates our body's temperature. It stores water, fat, and Vitamin D. But for the one in five Americans who will be diagnosed with skin cancer within the next year, skin is a painful reminder of past sun damage.
More than 90 percent of skin cancer is caused by sun exposure, when sun damage may be the easiest to prevent.
The Basics To Sun Safety
Everyone knows the basics to sun safety: wear sunscreen (at least SPF 15 or higher), cover-up with hats, t-shirts, sunglasses and stay in the shade.
If sun protection is common sense, then why is skin cancer the most common form of cancer?
Recognize the Risk
Robert Miller, M.D. of Wellspring Oncology weighs in, "Most people are surprised to learn that even UV exposure over short periods of time can still dramatically increase the risk for cancer."
For those with lighter skin tones, a family history of skin cancer and an experience of severe sunburns earlier in life, skin cancer is a very real possibility. Miller advises, "Skin care is a relatively simple concept; if your skin burns easily - stay out of the sun!"
Due to the amount of sun damage that can accumulate earlier in life, children and teens need to be protected. "Many cases of cancer are connected to severe burns from the adolescent stage in life," says Miller.
"Men are also twice as likely to develop skin cancer than women. It is the most common form of cancer in men over 50."
Manage the Damage
Once the harm is done, it is impossible to erase. However, people can still make lifestyle changes now that will reduce their risk for the longer term.
"Even if you know you have a high risk for cancer because of past UV exposure, you can start taking preventative measures now. That's better than never taking any preventative measures at all," says Miller.
"It's also important to get checked regularly. Any small lumps, irregular moles, abnormal patches of skin or sore sports on the skin's surface, along with any new growths need to be assessed by a doctor."
But there is still hope, even after a diagnosis. Miller offers that, "Newer radiation technology enables us to treat skin cancer in six days. There is no scarring, no hospital stays and minimal side effects."
Save Your Skin
Miller still advises, "There is no such thing as a safe tan that involves any form of UV exposure. Darker pigmentation is the skin's way of protecting itself- it signifies damage. The only safe tan is a sunless tan."
So even after a life of excessive sun exposure, you can still change sun-worshipping habits to save your skin. Most tanning salons now offer a form of sunless spray tanning that involves no UV exposure at all.
There are even lotions and at-home sprays to give you a safe summer glow all year long.
Allow an oncologist to share the risk factors of skin cancer and the latest ways to manage the damage this summer.
About WellSpring Oncology
Doctors Robert Miller, Zucel Solc and Frank Franzese opened the doors of WellSpring Oncology in spring of 2008 to provide high-end treatment in a more personal and caring environment infused with influences of feng shui and calming touches.
The doctors at WellSpring Oncology have been practicing innovative radiation therapy since the 1970's and developed the center to ensure patients have access to the latest technology available in the treatment of cancer.
WellSpring Oncology doctors are all board-certified in radiation oncology and received their training at the top centers in the country, including MD Anderson, Memorial Sloan Kettering and the University of California San Francisco.
WellSpring Oncology is located at 6600 Sixty Sixth Street North in Pinellas Park, Florida. For more information, contact WellSpring Oncology at (727) 343-0600 or visit them online at www.wellspringoncology.org.Additional resources gathered from: The American Cancer Society