On average, one American dies from melanoma every hour. And while it may account for only a small percentage of skin cancer cases, it is the deadliest form of the disease. According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), melanoma is the most common cancer for young adults 25 to 29 years old and the second most common form of cancer for adolescents and young adults 15 to 29 years old.
The latest research shows promising therapy treatment using the body's immune system to help target tumor cells in patients diagnosed with advanced melanoma. Other recent studies explore the use of experimental drugs for disease management and longevity. While research continues evolving, the most important thing we can do is be proactive. With May being Melanoma Awareness Month, Kevin Cooper, MD, Chairman of the Department of Dermatology at University Hospitals (UH) Case Medical Center in Cleveland, Ohio, offers tips on how to help lower our risk for skin cancer:
• Avoid midday sun when the ultraviolet (UV) rays are the strongest, between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
• Pay attention to new sunscreen labeling. Look for broad spectrum and water resistant accompanied by a specified time when it’s best to reapply. Sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) between 15 and 50 offer the best protection.
• Wear protective clothing including long-sleeved shirts, pants, wide-brimmed hats, and sunglasses.
• Avoid sun tanning and tanning beds.
• Check your skin regularly for any changes including new or irregular looking moles.
Sound bites from Kevin Cooper, MD, Chairman of the Department of Dermatology at UH Case Medical Center, related b-roll, and natural sound are available for download on http://news.uhhospitals.org/.