Health officials encourage sun protection

| May 11, 2017 | 0 Comments

 

Skin cancers are the most common types of cancers and are highly treatable when caught early. You can play an active role in the detection of skin cancers by checking your birthday suit on your birthday. If you notice anything changing, growing or bleeding on your skin, talk to your health care provider immediately about it. (Courtesy photo)

Lt. Col. Sunghun Cho,
Chief of Dermatology Services,
Tripler Army Medical Center
HONOLULU — May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month and Tripler Army Medical Center wants to ensure that you are protecting yourself.

Skin cancers are the most common types of cancers. One in five Americans will develop some form of skin cancer during their lifetime. Most of these are non-melanoma skin cancers and have a cure rate of about 95 percent if detected early and treated promptly.

Harmful rays from the sun include ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB), and both are linked to the development of skin cancers.

UVA rays cause premature aging such as wrinkling and age spots. This form of ultraviolet radiation can penetrate window glass, exposing you even when indoors or inside your car. UVB rays are the sun’s burning rays. Although they are blocked by window glass, they are the primary cause of sunburn.

Although melanomas make up less than 5 percent of skin cancers, they are the most common form of cancer for young adults between 25 and 29 years old, and the second most common form of cancer for adolescents and young adults between 15 and 29 years old.

They are also the deadliest form of skin cancer. An estimated 87,110 new cases of invasive melanoma are projected in the United States for 2017, with 9,730 deaths as a result.

While there are non-modifiable risk factors for skin cancers, such as genetics and fair skin, the most preventative risk factor for skin cancer can be controlled.

Seek shade when appropriate, especially between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. when the sun’s rays are strongest. Wear protective clothing (such as a long-sleeved shirt, pants and wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses) when possible. Apply sunscreen when going outdoors.

Use a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of at least 30. SPF refers to the product’s ability to provide primarily UVB protection, which helps prevent sunburn. The higher the SPF, the more UVB protection, but the level of protection does not increase proportionately with the SPF value. SPF of 30 blocks about 97 percent of UVB rays.

Sunscreen should be applied to the skin 20 minutes before going outdoors. Coat all exposed skin liberally, paying particular attention to the face, ears, hands and arms, and rub it in thoroughly.

Most people apply only 20 percent to 50 percent of the recommended amount of sunscreen. One ounce, enough to fill a shot glass, is the typical amount of sunscreen needed to cover the exposed areas of the body evenly. Sunscreen should be reapplied at least every two hours or after swimming or perspiring heavily.

Skin cancers are highly treatable when caught early, and you can play an active role in the detection of skin cancers by checking your birthday suit on your birthday. If you notice anything changing, growing or bleeding on your skin, talk to your health care provider immediately .

Resources
Visit the following sites for more details:

 

TAMC Tip

Taking a Break

Whether you sit at a desk, do heavy construction work or anything in between, taking several 5-minute breaks throughout the day – about every hour – to provide yourself with several benefits.

Below are some examples of activities you can do in 5 minutes or less for rest breaks.

  • Take a short walk away from your workstation.
  • Stand up and stretch or walk in place at your desk without looking at your computer monitor.
  • Get out of your chair whenever you take phone calls at your desk.
  • Change positions at your workstation.
  • Have a drink of water or a light snack.

Tags: ,

Category: Health

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *