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.