Skin Cancer Awareness Month: How to protect yourself in the Sunshine State

Living Local

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month and, with summer approaching and more people heading to the beach, skin cancer experts at Moffitt Cancer Cancer are sharing tips on how to stay protected.

Experts say melanoma is basically one of the deadliest skin cancers, and cases have been increasing more than any other potentially preventable cancer. The main risk factors to melanoma are extensive sun exposure and the use of tanning devices that emit UV rays.

National guidelines recommend people avoid intentional sun tanning, seek shade from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., wear protective clothing like hats or long-sleeved shirts and use sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.

“Melanoma does not discriminate by age, gender or race. Everybody’s at risk of getting melanoma and other skin cancers. Those who have lighter skin have a higher likelihood of getting melanoma but anybody can get melanoma,” Mofitt Cancer Center Skin Cancer Expert Dr. Ahmad Tarhini said.

Experts like Dr. Tarhini say it is important to look at your skin for any moles that contain certain characteristics such as asymmetry, an irregular border, varied color and size.

More information about melanoma and details on how to schedule a screening can be found on the Mofitt Cancer Center’s website.

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