| Protect Yourself from Skin Cancer|
Summer is upon us. Heading outdoors? Donít forget the hat, long-sleeved shirt, and pants. If it sounds more like an outfit for March, thatís because thereís little else you can do to protect yourself from the damaging effects of sun exposure.
Even sunscreen, long believed to protect from sunburn and skin cancer, isnít enough. The American Cancer Society says that in 1998, 41,600 people will be diagnosed with the most serious form of skin cancer, melanoma. In fact, the number of people with melanoma has more than doubled in the past two decades, increasing about 4 percent a year-despite more education.
If youíre heading out into the sun, at least use a sunscreen that covers both UVA and UVB rays, such as those that contain the newly approved Parsol. Apply it liberally.
And remember, the damage that you do to your skin now has a good chance of giving you skin cancer 10 years from now.
Know the risk factors.
Youíre more at risk for melanoma if you have the following characteristics:
v Have a lot of moles or freckles. The risk of melanoma among people with numerous moles is six times higher than those of people with only a few moles.
v Are lighter-skinned, particularly those with light-colored eyes, and red or blond hair. People with these characteristics are six times more at risk than those with darker skin, hair, and eyes.
v A history of severe sunburn occurring early in life. Health experts believe that children should be protected most from sun exposure.