by Mary Macdonald BSN, RN
According to the CDC, the incidence trend for new cases of Melanoma in Massachusetts is falling. This is promising news and may be contributed to increased awareness of the dangers of over-exposure to the harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun, which is the main cause of skin cancer. Let’s not forget that these harmful UV rays also contribute to those dreaded wrinkles, blotches, and spots on our youthful skin! Skin cancer can be prevented and when found and treated early it is highly curable. Simple steps to follow are to avoid direct sun exposure between 10 am and 4 pm when the UV rays are the strongest, use sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 and reapply every 2 hours, especially when swimming or sweating, cover up with long sleeves or a hat, and continually check your skin for any changes. An important reminder is for those who work outdoors. It is easy to “forget” that sunscreen and covering up is just as important when working as when relaxing on the beach or at the pool! As always, prevention is key.
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