TRENTON, N.J. - May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month and Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes urges residents to be aware of the dangers and prevalence of skin cancer and to take the necessary precautions.
Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States, Hughes noted. People should check themselves for skin cancer regularly. The American Academy of Dermatology suggests creating a “body mole map” to track your moles. If any of them appear to be growing, or are discolored with rough edges, contact your doctor immediately. The risks of skin cancer are greatly decreased with early detection.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends taking the following steps to protect yourself from ultraviolet radiation:
- seek shade, especially during midday hours
- wear clothing to protect exposed skin
- wear a hat with a wide brim to shade face, head, ears and neck
- wear sunglasses that block as close to 100 percent of both UVA and UVB rays as possible
- use sunscreen with Sun Protective Factor (SPF) 15 or higher, and both UVA and UVB protection
- avoid tanning beds and sunlamps – the UV rays from them are as dangerous as the UV rays from the sun
“There’s no need to be a recluse due to fear of the sun,” Hughes said. “With a few healthy preventative measures, as well as awareness of the risk factors, you can safely head to the beach and enjoy other outdoor activities this summer.”