As the most common cancer in the United States, new skin cancer cases are diagnosed at a rate of at least 5 million cases per year. And while it is a very common cancer, it doesn’t have to be! In fact, skin cancer is one of the most preventable cancers of today.
One of the best hopes for helping to lower incidences of skin cancer is to inform the public and raise awareness about this disease and the important steps to take toward prevention. This is the purpose behind Skin Cancer Awareness Month.
History of Skin Cancer Awareness Month
Skin Cancer Awareness Month began with the purpose of getting more people involved with the prevention of skin cancer through the protection from the sun’s harmful rays. The event is planned and executed through the cooperation of a number of different organizations, including the Skin Cancer Foundation, the American Academy of Dermatology, the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the American Association for Cancer Research and many others.
How to Celebrate Skin Cancer Awareness Month
Consider some of these ideas for helping spread the word and observing Skin Cancer Awareness Month:
Practice Skin Cancer Prevention
One of the most important messages to send in honor of Skin Cancer Awareness Month is arming and equipping the public on how to prevent skin cancer. Check out some of these ways to get started lowering the risk, according to the CDC:
- Prevent sun exposure by staying in the shade and wearing protective clothing
- Avoid indoor tanning, which can also cause skin cancer
- Wear sunglasses that block both UVA and UVB rays to protect the eyes
- Use broad spectrum sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher on the face, neck, ears and other exposed skin
Learn Vital Facts About Skin Cancer
Get on board with Skin Cancer Awareness Month by learning and sharing some different important facts that can make a difference in the way people live their lives in prevention of skin cancer. Check out the resources provided by the Skin Cancer Foundation and share some of these facts to get started with:
20% of the population, or 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer by the time they reach age 70.
The risk of melanoma skin cancer is doubled when a person has had 5 or more sunburns.
About 90% of non-melanoma skin cancers are associated with exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation that comes from the sun.
One study has shown that daily use of a sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher, applied properly, can reduce the risk of squamous cell carcinoma by approximately 40%.
Raise Awareness About Skin Cancer
An excellent way to get involved with Skin Cancer Awareness month is through hosting in person or virtual events that work to educate and inform the public about this highly preventable disease. People in the healthcare industry, educational world, social care sector and other spaces can help to promote knowledge and information that can arm people to make healthier choices about their skin. Folks who would benefit from access to resources and tools can find toolkits for this event on the Skin Cancer Foundation website.