tanningOWENSBORO, Ky. (6/24/14) — As summer approaches in later June it’s important to understand the importance of protecting our skin in the sun from skin cancer.

Many adults grew up in a time where “sunscreen” was relegated for people that chose to purchase it, believed one good burn was all you needed before a tan would appear or for those who easily burned from the sun’s rays.

Today, we know much more about the harmful effects posed to the rays of the sun.

First things first, what exactly is skin cancer?

Skin cancer begins when cells that are not normal grow on the skin. Most often it appears on the head, face, neck, hands and arms. Many skin cancers appear after age 50, but the sun damages the skin from early childhood. In fact, according to the American Academy of Dermatology, 80 percent of damage takes place before the age of 18.

Remember, it is important to protect your children from the sun. Infants six months and younger should not be in the sun at all.

There are three types of skin cancer: basal cell, squamous cell, and melanoma. The first two types are curable if found early. Melanoma is the most dangerous type. It can spread quickly to other parts of the body. If not treated, melanoma can result in death.

What causes a person to develop skin cancer?

Most skin cancers are caused by ultraviolet (UV) radiation. UV radiation comes from the sun and tanning beds. People of all races can get skin cancer, but those with fair skin and blonde or red hair are actually most at risk.  Your chance of getting skin cancer increases with having multiple moles, sunburns as a child, or if you have a family member who has had the disease.

What are the symptoms?

Skin cancer is usually not painful but most commonly appears as a new growth on the skin, a change in an old growth, or a sore that does not heal. Not all skin cancers are the same.  They may look pale or red. They may feel crusty, flat, scaly, smooth or firm. The first sign of melanoma is often a new mole or a change in the size, shape, color or feel of an existing mole. Most melanomas have a black or blue-black area.

How can I protect myself?

  • Stay out of the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., whenever possible.

  • Wear long sleeves, long pants, sunglasses and a hat with a wide brim when you are in the sun.

  • Use sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30. Re-apply every two hours, even if waterproof.

  • Avoid tanning beds.

  • Do a skin self-exam once a month.

  • After age 50, ask your doctor to examine your skin as part of your routine checkup.

It’s hard to refrain from being in the sun this time of year, but if you are, please play it safe in the sun by limiting your exposure, wearing your sunscreen and seeing a dermatologist.

Where can I get more information?

For information about cancer resources in your community, call the Kentucky Cancer Program at (270) 683-2560.

The information comes from the National Cancer Institute, the American Cancer Society, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

SurfKY News
Jaime Rafferty, Kentucky Cancer Program – Green River Cancer Control Specialist

LIKE SurfKY on Facebook - Click here to LIKE us now.

© Copyright 2015 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story on social media.

In Other News...

Storm Falls to Caldwell, Drops Third Straight Game

MORTONS GAP, Ky. (5/3/15) ― Host Hopkins County Central owned a 5-1 lead through the third inning but couldn't hold off… Read More

Laser Light Music Shows Return to Golden Pond Planetarium with Brand New Projector

KENTUCKY (5/2/15) — Laser Light Music Shows at Golden Pond Planetarium begin Saturday, May 23, at 5:30 p.m. on a brand… Read More
1 DOW 18,024.06
+183.54 (1.03%)    
2 S&P 2,108.29
+22.78 (1.09%)    
3 NASDAQ 5,005.39
+63.97 (1.29%)    

Most Read This Week

April 28, 2015 4092

Search for Stolen Vehicle Ends with Woman Charged…

by SurfKY News
April 27, 2015 3436

Online Petition Seeking Re­opening of Shanice…

by Samantha Carver, SurfKY News
April 28, 2015 3299

Man Charged with Stalking Smoke Shop Clerk

by MPD
April 27, 2015 2852

Hopkins County Drug War ― Are We Winning?

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
April 30, 2015 2739

Family Says 'Goodbye' to Dog After It Allegedly…

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News

Most Read This Month

April 17, 2015 15377

An Open Letter from an Addict

by Olivia Kirks
April 23, 2015 8435

Man Charged with Sodomy, Incest/Victim under 12

by SurfKY News

Stories Trending Now

May 02, 2015 1163

Frymire’s Life Accomplishments, Dedication to MCC…

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
May 03, 2015 1069

Two Injured During Two-Vehicle Collision

by SurfKY News
May 01, 2015 876

Above and Beyond: Leighann Stroud

by Gary Gates, SurfKY News
May 02, 2015 720

Don't Bet on Supreme Court Overturning Marriage…

by Richard Nelson
May 02, 2015 657

Homegrown by Heroes Receives Donation from…

by Ted Sloan
May 02, 2015 626

Weeknight activities the whole family can enjoy

by SurfKY News
May 02, 2015 596

New Mather Metals to Expand in Franklin

by Office of the Governor
May 02, 2015 580

Baptist Health Hosts Annual ‘Bike Safety Day’

by Gary Gates, SurfKY News
May 02, 2015 554

Hooked on Science - 'Kentucky Derby Balloon Race'

by Jason Lindsey