Medical Update: Protecting yourself from Skin Cancer
Apr 5, 2013 at 8:19 PM CST
Apr 5, 2013
Melanoma is the most dangerous type of skin cancer, and most cases are caused by exposure to the sun, but there are things you can do to protect yourself. As the days get longer, and summer afternoons find you at the pool, park, or out in the backyard, the danger from the sun is probably the last thing on your mind. “Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the united states. A lot of times, a majority of the cases, 60 to 90 percent of the cases is caused by UV radiation by the sun." With most cases of melanoma being caused by sun exposure, Doctor Mercado says sunscreen plays a big role in protecting your skin. "The American Academy of Family physicians recommends that everybody have protection of at least 15." She says to apply sunscreen, even when you're going out for a short time, and look for a sunscreen that blocks both UVA and UVB rays. Doctor Mercado adds, that even on a cloudy day the dangers from the sun are there. "Even though the sky may look cloudy, you still get exposure to the rays." She adds, the smallest members of the family are often the most vulnerable, so look for more protection when choosing a sunscreen for kids. "It comes in different levels, but the recommendation is 30 and above for kids." As many as 60-thousand people in the United States are diagnosed with Melanoma each year, a number that she says would drop if people took the proper precautions when heading outside. "Every time we're going to be exposed to the sun we have to protect ourselves" Next week, Laredo’s newest oncologist weighs in with the signs and symptoms of melanoma.