As more Americans head outdoors for warmer weather and fresh air amid “shelter-in-place” measures, dermatologists from the American Academy of Dermatology have an important reminder: practice safe sun. Skin cancer is one of the most preventable types of cancer, but new data from the AAD shows that many Americans aren’t taking the necessary steps to protect themselves.
According to a recent AAD survey, 76% of Americans agree that sun protection is an important healthy habit, yet only 41% report regularly protecting themselves outdoors — increasing their risk for skin cancer. While exposure to the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays is the most preventable risk factor for skin cancer, the survey also revealed that 28% of Americans admit they rarely or never use sun protection, and 65% of Americans don’t know that shade protects them from the sun’s harmful UV rays.
In recognition of Skin Cancer Awareness Month in May and Melanoma Monday® on May 4, the AAD has launched its annual national public awareness campaign encouraging Americans to #PracticeSafeSun to protect themselves and their families from skin cancer, the most common cancer in the United States.
“It is estimated that more than 9,500 people are diagnosed with skin cancer every day, and nearly 20 Americans die every day from melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer,” says board-certified dermatologist Bruce H. Thiers, MD, FAAD, president of the AAD. “Skin cancer affects more Americans than any other cancer, yet most cases are preventable by seeking shade, wearing sun-protective clothing and applying sunscreen on all skin not covered by clothing.”
The AAD recommends that everyone #PracticeSafeSun and reduce their risk of skin cancer by:
With an estimated 9,500 Americans diagnosed with skin cancer each day, it’s hard to understand why more employers aren’t taking steps to minimize this preventable exposure. The use of protective clothing, sunscreen, and seeking shade during peak sun hours should be our focus as we head into the summer months. Let’s give this health exposure the attention it deserves!
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