Nevada News Service
May 21, 2012
American Cancer Society Cautions Nevadans About Skin Cancer
LAS VEGAS, Nev. - Temperatures are rising in Nevada - and so are skin cancer rates. The American Cancer Society (ACS) wants to make sure people stay safe this summer.
Yolanda Wide, ACS health initiatives coordinator, recommends wearing sunscreen with a skin protection factor (SPF) of at least 30 when outdoors, and reapplying it hourly. And if you are concerned about a mole that doesn't look right, don't hesitate to check it out, she adds.
"Individuals interested in receiving a skin cancer screening can call the American Cancer Society at 1-800-227-2345 to find out if there is one scheduled in their area."
The EPA estimates that 480 Nevada residents were diagnosed with melanoma in 2009. Melanoma is responsible for about 75 percent of all skin cancer deaths. The agency says Humboldt County has the highest rate of new melanoma diagnoses in Nevada.
Wide also advises staying away from tanning beds and telling young friends and relatives to do the same.
"Mostly, it's teenagers who use tanning beds; we have literature geared specifically for them, so they understand that they are dangerous."
Melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer, will account for more than 75,000 cases in 2012, according to ACS.
Anyone who is concerned about a mole that doesn't look right should check it out, Wide says. When looking at moles, remember "A-B-C-D," to recall what the doctor should check, she adds.
"'A' stands for asymmetrical. 'B' is for border: If the edges are ragged or blurred, that is another sign to be cautious and talk to a doctor about the mole. 'C' is for color: Make sure the pigmentation is not uniform. 'D' stands for diameter: If a mole is the size of a pencil eraser or larger, it should be examined."
The Friday before Memorial Day is known as "Don't Fry Day," Wide says. It is set aside to raise awareness about skin cancer and help people take steps to protect themselves.
More information is available at cancer.org and at www.epa.gov.