Take Time This Summer to Safeguard Your Health.

Preventing skin cancer is much easier than curing it.

Follow these tips:

  • Use sunscreen with an SPF (sun protection factor) of at least 15.  Use it even on hazy days, since the harmful UV rays can still get through.
  • Because the PABA (para-amino-benzoic acid) in most sunscreens blocks UV-B rays, but not UV-A, be sure to choose a brand that contains benzophenones or zinc oxide to also block UV-A rays.
  • Be sure to put your sunscreen on about a half-hour before you go outside.
  • If your fun-in-the-sun involves water (swimming, boating, water skiing, etc.), remember to reapply sunscreen after getting wet.  Also reapply if you are exercising enough to perspire.
  • Wear a hat with a brim wide enough to shade your ears, back of the neck and face.
  • Wear sunglasses that block UV radiation (which can cause cataracts in the eyes).
  • If you take any over-the-counter or prescription drugs, ask your doctor or pharmacist if they increase sun sensitivity.
  • Stay away from tanning booths and lamps.  Since they also use UV rays, including UV-A, they are no safer than natural sunlight.

Warning Signs of Breast Cancer

  • Lump, hard knot or thickening inside the breast or underarm area.
  • Swelling, warmth, redness or darkening of the breast.
  • Change in the size or shape of the breast.
  • Dimpling or puckering of the skin.
  • Itchy, scaly sore or rash on the nipple.
  • Pulling in of your nipple or other parts of the breast.

Seven Ways to Reduce Your Cancer Risk

  • Include more fruits and vegetables in your diet.
  • Maintain healthy weight.
  • If you smoke, quit.  If you don’t smoke, don’t start.
  • Increase the amount of fiber in your diet.
  • Limit alcohol intake.
  • Avoid excess sun exposure and wear a sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher.
  • Know the warning signs for common cancers and perform self exams.