Organizations encourage sun safety awareness on Friday

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JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – The American Cancer Society and the National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention designated the Friday, May 22, as “Don’t Fry Day.” The day is to encourage sun safety awareness.

Don’t Fry Day is a reminder to protect your skin from harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays while enjoying the outdoors by using a broad-spectrum sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher), wearing protective clothing, a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses.

According to the American Cancer Society, UV rays from the sun and other sources like tanning beds are the primary causes of skin cancer, the most common type of cancer in the United States. The American Cancer Society estimates that more than 5.4 million cases of non-melanoma skin cancer will be diagnosed in 3.3 million people, as many have more than one diagnosis, in the U.S. this year. Additionally, an estimated 100,350 cases of melanoma will be diagnosed.

“The risk of skin cancer, especially melanoma, is very real,” explains Len Lichtenfeld, MD, MACP, interim chief medical and scientific officer for the American Cancer Society. “And not being safe in the sun is avoiding the reality that skin cancer can be a deadly disease.” 

In order to reduce the risk of skin cancer, The American Cancer Society recommends “Slip! Slop! Slap! And Wrap! to protect from harmful UV radiation:

  • Slip on a shirt
  • Slop on broad spectrum sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher
  • Slap on a hat
  • Wrap on sunglasses to protect the eyes and sensitive skin around them from ultraviolet light.

Detecting skin cancer early, when it is in its most treatable stages is imperative. While any change in appearance on your skin should be checked out by a medical professional, use the ABCDE rule to look for any suspicious or unusual moles:

  • Asymmetry—one half of the mole does not match the other.
  • Border—edges of the mole are irregular (blurred, ragged).
  • Color—color is not uniform and may have patches of pink, red, white or black.
  • Diameter—melanoma moles are usually larger than 1/4 inch, but this is not always the case.
  • Evolving – the mole is changing in size, shape, or color.

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