Preventing Skin Cancer Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

Jill Murphy, Assistant Editor
Published Online: Wednesday, May 13th, 2020
Skin cancer is America’s most common cancer; however, it is one of the most preventable forms of cancer. Approximately 90% of nonmelanoma skin cancers, and 85% of melanoma cases are associated with exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun.1
Each May, Skin Cancer Awareness Month is recognized by the Skin Cancer Foundation (SCF). However, this year’s Skin Cancer Awareness Month takes place during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, and the foundation is encouraging people to raise awareness and to protect ourselves from skin cancer while spending time away from others.1
According to the CDC, an easy tip to stay sun-safe during the summer months is to keep a tote bag packed with:
  • A lightweight long-sleeve shirt or cover-up
  • A hat with a wide brim that shades your face, head, ears, and neck
  • Sunglasses that block both UVA and UVB rays
  • Sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher and both UVA and UVB (broad spectrum) protection.2
In addition, staying in the shade during the late morning through mid-afternoon hours can help prevent future sun damage to the skin.2
There are different initiatives being put in place during this year’s Skin Cancer Awareness Month that can help spread the word on skin cancer prevention. For example, the SCF has created a 2020 toolkit to help share skin cancer facts, prevention guidelines, and early detection content to social media platforms.1
Further, The Big See campaign was launched this year to help empower the public on getting to know their skin, checking yourself in the mirror, and searching for anything new, changing, or unusual on your body.1
  1. May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month. Skin Cancer Foundation. Published 2020. Accessed May 13, 2020.
  2. Skin Cancer Awareness. CDC. Published May 9, 2019. Accessed May 13, 2020.

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