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It’s the Cancer You Can See, So Look for It: July is UV Safety Month

If we were to give you a pop quiz right now about how to prevent sun damage, we think you’d score 100 percent! (The answers, of course: apply 30+ SPF sunscreen often and liberally, seek shade, stay out of midday sun and wear a hat and protective clothing.) You likely also know that at 10,000 feet elevation, UV risk from the sun goes up as much as 50 percent.

Along with these reminders, your friends at St. Vincent share some important facts below that we hope will complement your existing prevention strategy against sun exposure and skin cancer.

The three types of skin cancer are basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma—and the deadliest— melanoma. (A full 90 percent of melanoma cases are caused by UV exposure.)

Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the nation, affecting one in five Americans. Another sobering statistic: One American dies every hour from skin cancer.

Treatments include surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, and Mohs micrographic surgery. Mohs is the most effective treatment for most types of skin cancer and one with a high cure rate. More good news:  99 percent of cases are curable if diagnosed and treated early enough. But in order to stop skin cancer, it must be spotted in time.

Unlike cancers that develop inside the body, skin cancers form on the outside and are usually visible. Get in the habit of a monthly self-exam. If you see something new, changing, or unusual on your skin, it may be cancer and it must be checked by a qualified provider.

Early detection saves lives. Learning what to look for gives you the power to stop damaging or deadly skin cancer. Find out more at TheBigSee.org.