Healthcast: Be skin smart this summer


LUBBOCK, Texas — A lot of us love to be outside during the summer months.

But did you know skin cancer is the most common cancer in the country?

And 1 in 5 people will get skin cancer in their lifetime?

“Lots of people in our area of Texas and New Mexico love to be outside and work outside,” said Family Nurse Practitioner Cindy Adams at Lubbock Dermatology. “But a tan is actually damage to your skin, it’s trying to protect itself.”

And it’s important you do what you can to protect your skin from skin cancer.

“It can spread to other lymph nodes or other organs especially melanoma,” Adams said. 

Adams says skin cancer is very treatable if it’s caught early.

“Know your skin and be aware of your spots,” Adams explained. “Look at the areas you don’t see all the time like your back, your bottom, the back of your legs. Just know what your normal is.”

If you notice anything on your skin changing, go see your doctor. 

“There are three different kinds of skin cancer,” Adams said. “Basal cell carcinoma is the most common. It’s going to be a pearly, skin colored bump. Squamous cell is the second most common. It’s going to be more of a red, scaly area or a sore that doesn’t heal. And then melanoma. It’s more a dark or different color mole that’s changing and evolving.”

Adams says it’s easy to protect yourself from the sun.

Always wear sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher, and reapply every 2 hours.

Avoid the times of day when the sun is the strongest, which is between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. 

And don’t forget a hat.

“I think a lot of people just go out and don’t think they’re going to get a lot of sun and then they stay out longer than they think,” Adams said.

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