From the Broome County Health Department:
Binghamton, NY –The Friday before Memorial Day Weekend has been deemed; “Don’t Fry Day” to remind us about the importance of sun safety. Now more than ever, people want to get outside and enjoy the nice weather that this season brings. The Broome County Community Cancer Prevention in Action (CPiA) team wants to encourage residents to “save the skin they are in” by practicing skin cancer prevention activities, especially this holiday weekend.
Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States with 1 in every 5 Americans being diagnosed with it in their lifetime. The biggest risk for skin cancer is ultraviolet (UV) exposure from the sun or UV devices such as tanning beds. Too much exposure to UV rays from the sun can cause skin to make more melanin, which turns the skin dark or red. Any change of skin, where it’s a burn or a tan, is a sign of injury not health.
There are three types of skin cancer: basal cell, squamous cell, and melanoma, the deadliest form. Up to 90% of melanomas are caused by UV exposure. Melanoma is on the rise in New York State, and among the top 5 cancers for adults ages 20-34.
The Broome County CPiA team works to bring education, resources, practices, and policies to local communities in Broome and Tioga Counties. The team works to raise awareness on the importance of practicing sun safety and the dangers of indoor tanning, as well as working with community partners to implement policies that aid the prevention of skin cancer.
Skin cancer is preventable when taking the proper precautions. You can reduce your UV exposure by:
· Seeking shade, look for a large tree or shade structure such as an awning or shade sail.
· Wear protective clothing like long sleeved shirts, hats with wide brims, and UV broad spectrum sunglasses
· Apply sunscreen with a SPF of 15 or higher 20 minutes before going out
· For extended outdoor exposure: reapply every 2 hours and after swimming, excessive sweating or toweling off
· Try to limit your exposure during the peak hours between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
It’s important to practice sun safety this weekend and moving forward this summer. For more information about CPiA, skin cancer, and how to practice sun safety visit: http://takeactionagainstcancer.com/ or contact us at 607-778-3929.