Minimizing sun exposure is the best way to prevent skin damage.

MOBILE, AL - MAY 14:  George and Tanya Evans o...
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Protect your skin from the sun when you can, wear protective clothing such as hats, long-sleeved shirts, long skirts, or pants.  Use sunscreen lotion on your face, neck, hands, forearms and other unprotected areas of the skin.  Be sure to choose a sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or greater.  Apply the sunscreen before going out in the sun.

Ultraviolet radiation can travel through car and home windows, where it can contribute to the daily accumulation of sun exposure that can lead to skin cancer and photo aging.  Ultraviolet rays are a part of sunlight that is an invisible form of radiation. Just what is ultraviolet (UV) radiation?  UV radiation, emitted by both the sun, and tanning beds and lamps, is a known human carcinogen (cancer-causing agent).

Skin cancers are a rapidly growing portion of all cancers diagnosed each year. Skin cancers are sometimes classified as either Melanoma or non Melanoma. Skin cancers sometimes arise from a non-cancerous skin condition called an actinic keratosis.

Basal Cell carcinoma (the most common form) and Squamous Cell carcinoma (the second most common form) are non-melanoma skin cancers linked with sun accumulation that has occurred over a number of years. Basal cell carcinoma usually occurs on areas of your skin that have been exposed to the sun. Basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma are very common skin cancers with more than 1 million cases per year in the United States.

Melanoma is a more serious type of cancer than the more common skin cancers, basal cell cancer or squamous cell cancer, which begins in the basal or squamous cells of the epidermis. Most types of skin cancers can be effectively cured if found early, especially if it has not spread to nearby organs. The outlook depends on a number of factors, including the type of cancer and how quickly it was diagnosed.  Basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma rarely spread to other parts of the body.

Melanoma also kills more young women under the age of 40 than any other cancer. Melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer, is diagnosed in about 59,000 people annually and was expected to cause 7,800 deaths during the past year. Melanoma is a more serious type of cancer than the more common skin cancers, basal cell cancer or squamous cell cancer.

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