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Tips to Avoid Deadly Skin Cancer : Dave’s Diary

Here comes the heat again…temperatures in Yakima are expected to be into the upper 80’s to near 90 through the weekend.  With all that heat comes the light and the risk of exposure to too much sunshine!   Skin cancer is serious medical business. 1 person will die of Melanoma every hour so the more we know, the more often we’re reminded, the healthier we can be. 

FDA Announces Stricter Guidelines For Sun Screens
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

So courtesy of Shape Magazine, here is a look at skin cancer by the numbers.


  • More than 2 million people will be diagnosed with the disease this year.
  • 90% of skin cancers caused by the sun’s ultraviolet rays. Don’t count on overcast skies to protect you either, as 80% of UV penetrates haze, fog, and light clouds.
  • 30 is the minimum SPF you should be using. To be effective against both UVA and UVB.
  • 1 ounce is the amount of sunscreen you should apply to your entire body to get the SPF promised on the label.
  • 15 minutes is the length of time before going outside that you should apply sunscreen: this will give your skin enough time to absorb the protective ingredients.
  • 47% of lifetime sun exposure acquired by age 40. The take-home message: It’s never too late to start wearing sunscreen. One recent study of adults showed that a decade of wearing sunscreen cut their likelihood of developing melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer, in half; other research found that daily use let to fewer Aks, as well as less BCC and SCC, the most common forms of the disease.
  • 3 in 10 of melanomas that begin in moles.
  • 50% reduction in melanoma when people ate a Mediterranean style diet, which includes lots of fruits and vegetables, as well as olive oil and fish. The findings, which were published in the International Journal of Epidemiology, are likely the result of the diet’s abundant supply of antioxidants, substances that help protect against cellular damage caused by UV radiation.
  • Reapply sunscreen every 2 hours. If you’re swimming or sweating excessively, slather on more even sooner.

(Shape Magazine May 2013)

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