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Sun and CloudsMelanoma, commonly known as skin cancer, is the most common of all cancers. The single most effective way to prevent the disease is to protect yourself from dangerous UV rays. Never plan to spend time outdoors without some basic necessities to keep yourself safe. And remember, while the UV factor is highest in the summer, these tips should be used year-round for maximum effectiveness.

The American Cancer Society has developed a new campaign to help people remember four easy steps to guard against sun damage. "Slip, slop, slap and wrap!" is the phrase you need to remember when you know you'll be outdoors.
  1. Slip on a shirt to cover the trunk and arms of your body, two areas that are prone to burning. Choose a tightly woven light-colored shirt, or invest in a style that is manufactured with UV protective materials.
  2. Slop reminds you to apply sunscreen every time you are outside. Choose a variety with SPF 30 or higher, and if you are swimming or sweating, add another coat after about two hours.
  3. Slap on a hat — the bigger, the better. A wide-brimmed hat will protect your face and neck, which are very vulnerable areas.
  4. Wrap a pair of sunglasses on your face. Check labels for 100 percent UV protection, which will keep your eyes and the skin around them safe.
Even when it's cloudy, it's important to remember these steps, as UV rays can penetrate clouds. It's also a good idea to stay inside or in the shade when the sun is at its strongest, usually between 10 AM and 3 PM each day.

It seems like parents are taking these recommendations seriously, as evidenced by a recent study by Case Western Reserve University and Case Medical Center in Cleveland. Researchers studied melanoma rates in children from 2000 to 2010. They found that the incidence of this type of skin cancer in children dropped an astounding 12 percent each year from 2004 to 2010.

Unfortunately, melanoma rates in adults continue to rise, so remember these tips before you head outside to lower your risk of sun damage and skin cancer.

Enjoy the summer with your good health in mind. Call First Independent - Descamps Insurance Agency at (888) 513-8784 for more information on Sterling Heights health insurance.
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