Skin cancer is one of the most widespread cancers in the world. It is almost always curable when detected and treated early. Now that summer is upon us, it is time to be aware of some of the precautions that we can take to prevent the onset of skin cancer.
- The right sunscreen: Just picking a random sunscreen off the shelves of a supermarket is not enough. Look for details like a broad range of protection against both UVA and UVB rays, at least SPF 30 and the expiration date. Apply the sunscreen every two hours or after swimming or sweating.
- Seek Shade: Try to be indoors especially between 10 AM and 4 PM, as the sun rays tend to be harshest in this time span.
- Watch out for windows: Many home windows block only UVB light and allow UVA light to stream through, or don’t filter any ultraviolet light at all. Also, the side windows of your car repel only UVB light and not the UVA, which causes cancer. Take care not to expose yourself to direct light shining through your windows or fix a UV filter on your windows.
- Clothing: Wear protective clothes which protect your skin from the sun as much as possible. Accessorize your apparel with hats and sunglasses.
- Sip on Coffee: Daily coffee consumption has been linked to lower rates of skin cancer in many studies. A word of caution: Don’t load your cup with sugar and other additives which compromise coffee’s health benefits.
- Protect the newborns: Sunscreen should be applied for infants over the age of six months.
- Diet and lifestyle: A weak immune system increases the risk for skin cancer. Regular exercising and consuming immune-boosters like garlic, green tea can strengthen your immunity.
- Regular check-ups: Visit your physician annually for a skin exam.
There is no reason not to enjoy the sunshine without the fear of skin cancer, provided you take some precautions beforehand.