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Why Is May Melanoma Awareness Month?

Melanoma is one of the most common forms of cancer the world over. Melanoma is an illness that is the most commonly related to sun exposure – that is probably why May, of all months, has been selected as Melanoma awareness month. May is when the weather usually turns fair and stable when temperatures start rising. The sun starts shining bright, and May is when we all want to spend more time outdoors. These seasonal changes make May the perfect time of year for raising awareness of the risk of developing melanoma.  It’s a good month to look for a skin cancer check near me to find a center that offers screening for melanoma.

There are around 100,000 new cases of melanoma detected each year, and there are over 6,500 deaths annually related to the illness in the US alone. The primary cause of melanoma is exposure to ultraviolet radiation. Fortunately, the illness is highly curable and largely preventable – here is what to do to minimize the risk of melanoma:

  • Minimize the exposure to the sun, especially between 10 AM and 2 PM; when harmful UV radiation is the strongest;
  • Use sunblock – broad-spectrum products that shield from UVA and UVB rays alike and that come with a sun protection factor of at least 30 SPF should be used every day before leaving home, even on days when the sun doesn’t shine strongly, and the product of choice should also be reapplied regularly during the time spent outdoors;
  • Wear solar protection clothing – light-colored clothes that protect the décolleté, arms, and legs are also critical.
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