Fox Chase Cancer Center and Grand View Hospital Advise Individuals to Protect Their Skin from Sun Damage This Summer Season and All Year Round
(May 1, 2014) Sellersville, PA – May is National Skin Cancer Awareness Month. According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), skin cancer is by far the most common of all cancers, accounting for nearly half of all cancers in the United States.
Most skin cancers are non-melanomas, which include basal cell and squamous cell skin cancers
. These are most often found in areas exposed to the sun—such as the face, ear, neck, lips, and backs of the hands. “These rarely spread to other parts of the body and for most people can be cured if found and treated early,” comments Daniel Shrager, M.D., board-certified dermatologist, Alpha Dermatology of Pennsylvania. “Melanoma, on the other hand, is far more dangerous and can spread to other parts of the body.” In fact, melanoma causes most skin cancer deaths. The ACS estimates that 76,100 new melanomas will be diagnosed and about 9,710 people will die of melanoma in 2014.
Fox Chase Cancer Center and Grand View Hospital
advise individuals to protect their skin from sun damage this summer season and all year round. “Anyone can develop skin cancer,” notes Dr. Shrager. “Yet, everyone can lower their risk by avoiding long exposure to intense sunlight and practicing sun safety.” Below are some everyday tips:
- Seek shade, particularly between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when the sun’s rays are strongest.
- Use a broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher every day. Reapply every 2 hours and after swimming, toweling dry, or sweating. Use sunscreen even on hazy or overcast days.
- Do not burn. Even a single sunburn increases your risk of developing melanoma.
- Avoid tanning and UV tanning booths. People who use tanning beds are 2.5 times more likely to develop squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) and 1.5 times more likely to develop basal cell carcinoma (BCC). Even occasional sunbed use almost triples your chances of developing melanoma.
- Cover up with protective, tightly woven clothing, a broad-brimmed hat, and UV-blocking sunglasses.
“Detecting skin cancer early, when it’s most treatable, is paramount. I highly encourage individuals to take a proactive role and examine their skin head-to-toe every month. They should also have their skin checked annually by a physician or dermatologist,” says Shrager. Below are some warning signs to look for:
- Any change on your skin, especially in the size or color of a mole, growth, or spot, or a new growth (even if it has no color)
- Scaliness, oozing, bleeding, or a change in the way a bump or nodule looks
- The spread of pigmentation (color) beyond its border, such as dark coloring that spreads past the edge of a mole or mark
- A change in sensation, such as itchiness, tenderness, or pain
Individuals who notice any of the above signs should contact their physician immediately.
As a Fox Chase Cancer Center Partner, Grand View Hospital has early access to new research discoveries on cancer prevention and treatment. Fox Chase Cancer Center Partners is a select group of community hospitals in Pennsylvania and New Jersey affiliated with Fox Chase Cancer Center—part of Temple Health—to provide the latest in cancer research, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment in their own communities. Fox Chase Cancer Center Partners offers patients, families, and their physicians enhanced resources to deal with the burden of cancer, including the newest clinical trials. Temple Health refers to the health, education and research activities carried out by the affiliates of Temple University Health System and by Temple University School of Medicine.
About Grand View Hospital
Grand View Hospital
, Bucks County’s first hospital, has provided residents of Bucks and Montgomery counties with comprehensive healthcare services since 1913. Now a century strong, Grand View offers a range of inpatient and outpatient care—particularly emphasizing the areas of surgery and orthopaedics, women’s and children’s health, heart and vascular care, and cancer treatment. For more information about services and programs, visit www.gvh.org.