AARP offers tips to avoid skin cancer

Kali Gough, 17, left, and Allie Harris, 18, center, lay out at Siesta Public Beach.

It’s finally summer and the sun seems to be making simmering appearances on a somewhat daily basis. That’s good for those of us still thawing out from the brutal winter. But the increased prominence of the sun means it’s time to worry about skin cancer. About 1 in 5 Americans will be diagnosed with skin cancer in their lifetime, making it the most common form of cancer in the nation.

To reduce your risk, AARP has pulled together a few things you should know about skin cancer. Would love to see if you’d be interested in an interview with our AARP health expert on ways to combat the summer sun this season!

  1. Your past could catch up with you—If you had at least five blistering sunburns between the ages of 15 and 20, you have an 80 percent higher risk of developing melanoma in your 40s to 60s.
  2. More men are getting melanoma—Men have seen their melanoma rate increase the most of any age group over the past four decades.
  3. Alcohol increases your risk—You’ll have a lower risk of malignant melanoma if you trade that bottle of beer for a bottle of water.
  4. Don’t forget your feet—A cancerous spot can also start on the soles or top of your feet, where they are harder to see.
  5. There are new treatment options—Targeted therapies include oral medications that attack specific cancer cells and are believed to be more effective and have fewer side effects than surgery or chemotherapy.

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Amanda Cuda