Summer is officially upon us which means sun protection! Did you know, melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer claiming more than 9,000 lives each year – with over 300 in North Carolina alone. (Source: North Carolina Central Cancer Registry) It is important to learn about melanoma and other skin cancers so you can prevent and reduce your risk. Let’s take a look at some common myths about melanoma:
Myth: If your skin tans without burning, you can’t get skin cancer.
Fact: Any amount of sun exposure can contribute to the development of cancer. Even people who don’t burn can get melanoma.
Myth: Tanning beds are safe because it’s not real sun.
Fact: Tanning beds are not safer than natural sun exposure. Most tanning beds use UVA and UVB rays that penetrate deeper layers of skin and cause most sunburns. According to the National Cancer Institute people who use tanning beds more than once a month are 55 percent more likely to develop melanoma.
Myth: One application of sunscreen daily is sufficient protection.
Fact: Sunscreen must be applied frequently throughout the day, especially if it could be washed off by sweat or water.
Myth: “Adequate” use of sunscreen will prevent melanoma
Fact: Although sunscreen can help prevent skin cancer, it only provides minimal protection so it is important to limit sun exposure.
Myth: If a spot that has been on your body for years changes but hasn’t gotten bigger, it isn’t melanoma.
Fact: Many melanomas occur in pre-existing spots or moles. Have a doctor should evaluate any areas that have changed.
Myth: Melanoma can only develop on body parts where the “sun can shine”.
Fact: Some types of melanoma aren’t related to sun exposure and can occur in unexpected places.
(Source: Melanoma Research Alliance)
The FirstHealthMooreRegionalHospital’s ComprehensiveCancerCenter offers melanoma and non-melanoma cancer treatment and support to patients in the Pinehurst, Raeford, Sanford, Lumberton, Laurinburg, Troy, and Rockingham regions of North Carolina and beyond.