May is skin cancer awareness month. But really it should be a year-round conversation because you don’t only get cancer or get exposed to UVA and UVB rays in the spring or summer. True, the sun’s rays are stronger now and daylight is longer during these months but really, skin protection needs to be done every single day of the year. 365 days. No matter the weather. No matter your skin type. Seriously.
I have been preaching about sunscreen since I was in my early 20′s and realized how damaging (and horrifically aging) the sun can be. And when I say preaching I mean preaching. Friends and family probably find me completely obnoxious about it. But I don’t care. I mean most cancers are not avoidable. Don’t you want to avoid the ONE that is basically completely and easily avoidable? Thought so!
Here are some scary facts about skin cancer from the National Cancer Institute at the National Institute of Health and the Skin Cancer Foundation:
- It’s the most common form of cancer in the US
- Over 68,000 people are diagnosed with melanomas of the skin
- Over 48,00 are diagnosed with an early form of the disease
- Over 2,000,000 people are treated for basal cell and squamous cell skin cancer every year
- Each year there are more new cases of skin cancer than the combined incidence of cancers of the breast, prostate, lung and colon.
- One in five Americans will develop skin cancer in the course of a lifetime.