Summer Sun Safety

6:55 AM, May 22, 2013   |    comments
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Don't Fry Day is Friday, May 24
American Cancer Society and National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention encourage everyone to protect their skin against the sun 

Get your sunscreen ready because this Friday, May 24, is "Don't Fry Day." The American Cancer Society, along with the National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention, reminds you to protect your skin as you head outdoors to kick off the summer season. Be sure to use plenty of sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher), wear clothing that limits the amount of skin exposed, cover your head with a hat, and wear sunglasses to protect your eyes and the skin around them.

While late spring usually means a rush to get a tan for high school prom, graduation or simply to prepare for the beach, the serious threat of skin cancer should not be ignored. Skin cancer is the most common of all cancers. In fact, according to the American Cancer Society, many of the more than 2 million cases that are diagnosed annually could be prevented by protection from the sun's rays and avoiding indoor tanning.

How can you prevent skin cancer? The American Cancer Society's awareness campaign for skin cancer prevention promotes the slogan "Slip! Slop! Slap! and Wrap," which is a catch phrase that reminds people of the four key ways they can protect themselves from UV radiation:
• Slip on a shirt
• Slop on sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher
• Slap on a hat
• Wrap on sunglasses to protect the eyes and sensitive skin around them from ultraviolet light.

Pay attention to your time spent in those UV rays - stay out of the sun during peak times (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.) and remember that a nice tan is never worth risking your life.

Melanoma is a type of skin cancer that can be deadly. Remember to look for any suspicious or unusual moles using the American Cancer Society's ABCD rule:

Asymmetry-one half of the mole does not match the other.
Border-edges of the mole are irregular (blurred, ragged).
Color-color is not uniform and may have patches of pink, red, white or black.
Diameter-melanoma moles are usually larger than 1/4 inch, but this is not always the case.

"I strongly encourage people to get outside and enjoy the beautiful Michigan weather this summer, but it's critical that we all take the necessary precautions to avoid too much sun exposure without proper protection," said Alicia Gardner, director of Health Initiatives for the American Cancer Society in Michigan. "There are plenty of ways to enjoy the sun without putting yourself at greater risk for skin cancer."

If you find a suspicious mole, talk to your doctor. Nothing increases cancer survival rates more than early detection, and nothing lowers cancer rates more than prevention. This summer, stay safe in the sun.

For more information on skin cancer detection or prevention, contact the American Cancer Society at 1-800-227-2345 or visit www.cancer.org.

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WHO: American Cancer Society

WHAT: Finish the Bite Cupcake Competition.

WHERE: West Michigan Caterer, located at Centennial Country Club, 3361 Charlevoix Dr. SE, Grand Rapids

WHEN: Wednesday, May 22, 2013, from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

WHY: Today, two out of three people diagnosed with cancer are surviving the disease for at least five years. More than 400 people a day in the U.S. are celebrating birthdays who otherwise would have been lost to cancer. As the Official Sponsor of Birthdays, the American Cancer Society will continue to make noise by amplifying its efforts to ensure lifesaving cancer research gets funded; by making sure people facing cancer have the help they need, such as a free place to stay during treatment or a ride to get there; and by fighting for equal access to quality health care, lifesaving screenings, and clean air.

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