NEW YORK — It’s Skin Cancer Awareness Month and that means making people aware of the most common form of cancer in the United States.
According to the American Cancer Society, more than five million cases are reported each year. But it’s also one of the most preventable types of the disease. That’s why prevention and early detection are key.
Steven Greenberg is a nationally-renowned Long Island cosmetic plastic surgeon.
“The skin is such a large organ just like a spleen, and a kidney,” he said. “It’s exposed to radiation from the time were born. Therefore, the skin cells turn into cancerous cells with a lot of environmental different exposures.”
Renee Lee is a make-up artist and aesthetician with Central Park Beauty in Manhattan and echoes that sentiment regarding the danger behind the sun’s rays. They also say it’s important to protect your skin no matter your gender, race, or age. You can start by choosing the right sunscreen and know when to apply it.
“The reason why you want to look for broad spectrum sunscreen is because we’re looking for UVA and UVB protection. Even if it’s gloomy out, those rays are still there,” Lee said.
Dr. Greenberg says to make sure that the sunblock is greater than 30, and lather up 30-60 minutes before going outside. He also recommends applying it frequently throughout the day.
You can also cover up by wearing clothing with SPF protection, says Lee.
Finally, focus on early detection by checking your skin for warning signs and scheduling routine screenings with a dermatologist.
Follow these tips and you’ll be well on your way to reducing your risk.