With the warmer weather comes sunny skies and more outdoor activities.
It also means an increased chance of sunburn.
May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month, a perfect time to remind employees that this most widely-diagnosed cancer is also the most preventable. Most skin cancers are caused by ultraviolet (UV) exposure, which comes from the sun, tanning booths, and sunlamps.
One in 5 Americans will be diagnosed in their lifetime with skin cancer, and between 7,000-8,000 people die from melanoma every year.
Luckily, most skin cancers are curable when caught early.
Share with your employees the importance of annual dermatology skin scans along with wearing daily sunscreen. You can also spread the word on how to spot early skin cancer warning signs.
Here’s a look at valuable information to share with your employees this month:
Skin Cancer Fast Facts
- A person’s risk for melanoma doubles with 5+ sunburns
- 1 in 5 Americans will develop some type of skin cancer during their lifetime
- Men are diagnosed more often than women
- The Skin Cancer Foundation estimates 7,200 people will die from melanoma in 2019
- Approximately 90% of melanoma skin cancers are caused by exposure to the sun’s UV rays
- Getting sunburned as a child can increase your risk for skin cancer as an adult
What to Look for: Skin Cancer Symptoms
It's helpful to use the ABCD method when checking for abnormal skin conditions. A stands for asymmetry (one half of the mole doesn't match the other); B is for border (should be round, not uneven); C is for color (not consistent across the mole); D is for diameter (larger than a pencil eraser can be worrisome).
Now that you know the facts, here’s what to look for:
- Skin cancer can form even on the palms of your hands and the bottom of feet
- Look for changes in your skin like sores that don’t heal or new bumps with waxy textures
- Can present as flat, brownish patches or raised reddish bumps
- Moles that change color, size, or texture should be checked out
Annual exams by a dermatologist are highly recommended. A dermatologist can spot issues long before you might recognize a worrisome bump or mole. They’ll do a full body scan, and they’ll check your scalp all the way down to in-between your toes.
Easy Skin Cancer Prevention Measures
Skin cancer is easily preventable, especially with today’s advanced sunscreen and clothing options. For women who wear makeup, use a moisturizer with sunscreen and SPF-infused makeup for extra sun protection.
Skincare tips to remember:
- Use an SPF 15 or higher sunscreen
- Reapply sunscreen every 2 hours and after swimming
- Avoid the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
- Long sleeves, hats, and sunglasses all provide protection
- Infants should be protected from the sun (6 months and up can wear sunscreen)
- Protect children from burning to reduce their risk of cancer as adults
- Check your skin regularly for changes
- Get an annual check-up
Spread the Word During Skin Cancer Awareness Month
It’s easy to get involved and promote Skin Cancer Awareness Month to educate your employees on the dangers of skin cancer — a deadly but highly preventable health concern.
Here’s a few easy, low-key ways to spread the word:
- Include prevention tips and survivor stories in company newsletters this month
- Host a local doctor/dermatologist for a presentation
- Provide sunscreen samples for employees
- Get involved in local events and on social media
While many cancers may not be preventable, skin cancer is an exception. Show your employees how easy it is to protect themselves from sunny skies and skin damage this month. When detected early enough, a skin cancer diagnosis can almost always be cured.
Help keep your employees safe in the sun! This month, share our free Summer Sun Essentials guide to promote best practices for sun safety.