Newswise — WASHINGTON, D.C. — May 23, 2011— Despite skin cancer’s being largely preventable, it remains by far the most common type of cancer in the United States. There are over two million new cases of skin cancer diagnosed annually, which is more than new cases of breast, prostate, lung and colon cancers combined. To help reduce rising rates of skin cancer, the National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention designated the Friday before Memorial Day, May 27, 2011, as “Don’t Fry Day.”
This year, the National Council urges everyone to think beyond sunscreen to protect their skin while enjoying the outdoors. While generous sunscreen usage is an important way to protect your skin from the sun, there are additional sun safety measures that can help prevent skin cancer:• Avoid sun burning, intentional tanning, and using tanning beds;• Wear sun-protective clothing, a wide-brimmed hat, and sunglasses;• Seek shade;• Use extra caution near water, snow, and sand;• Get vitamin D safely through food and vitamin D supplements.
“As millions of Americans head outdoors for family fun on Memorial Day weekend – the unofficial kick-off to summer – “Don’t Fry Day” is an important reminder for the public to protect their skin from ultraviolet (UV) radiation while enjoying the outdoors,” said Sandra I. Read, M.D., co-chair of the National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention. “While most everyone enjoys a sunny day, keeping your skin safe from overexposure to UV radiation can be easy by practicing simple sun-safety tips.”
The American Cancer Society recommends that everyone “Slip! Slop! Slap!®...and Wrap” - slip on a shirt; slop on sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher; slap on a hat; and wrap on sunglasses.
The UV Index forecast is a helpful resource to learn your daily risk of overexposure to the sun. Developed by the National Weather Service and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the UV Index forecasts the strength of solar UV radiation on a scale from 1 (low) to 11+ (extremely high). Simply log on to the EPA website at http://epa.gov/sunwise/uvindex to see the National UV map, download a free UV Index widget for your website, or download a free mobile application for your smart phone. The predicted UV level can be used as a guide for appropriate sun-protective measures to prevent overexposure to UV radiation.
Skin cancer is on the rise in the U.S. Here are some statistics:
• The American Cancer Society estimates that, 68,130 cases of malignant melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer, were diagnosed in 2010.
• One American dies of melanoma almost every hour.
• While the incidence of many common cancers is falling, the incidence of melanoma continues to rise.
• Melanoma is now one of the most common cancers among young adults ages 15-29.
To minimize the harmful effects of too much UV exposure, the National Council advocates that comprehensive protection from UV radiation should be a life-long practice for everyone.
For more information, including how to use the UV Index to plan outdoor activities, visit the National Council’s site at www.SkinCancerPrevention.org. The National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention is the united voice of more than 45 organizations, associations, and agencies dedicated to reducing skin cancer morbidity and mortality in the United States. Council members represent some of the nation’s premier physicians, researchers, clinicians and advocates for melanoma and skin cancer prevention.