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As Summer Approaches, Health Officials Warn Public Of Skin Cancer Dangers

A lady wearing a hat while the sun beams down on her
Florida Department of Health Facebook

As we head into the Summer months, health officials say protecting yourself from the sun’s intense rays with protective sunscreen, clothing, and eyewear is key. The goal is ensure Floridians do not get skin cancer and if they do, detect it early.

As its National Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection Month, Leon County Health Department Spokesman Chris Tittel says the public should be aware of the three kinds of skin cancer caused by sun overexposure:

“Basal cells and squamous cell carcinomas are curable,” he said. Melanoma, even though it’s less common, is more dangerous and can sometimes, can result in death. So, we’re very, very concerned about people making sure that they’re protecting themselves against the sun.”

If you see an irregularly shaped mole or spot on your skin, a mole or spot with uneven color, a mole that’s larger than a pea, or changes in an existing mole or spot—Tittel says contact your health provider.

“We encourage people in an effort to avoid contracting skin cancer to protect themselves against harmful rays of the sun,” Tittel added. “We encourage people to use what we call broad spectrum sunscreens with an SPF factor higher than 15.”

If you’re going in and out of the water, the public is encouraged to reapply that sunscreen every two hours or after contact with the water. Tittel says residents should seek shade when the sun is the strongest, wear hats and protective clothing and eyewear, and avoid indoor tanning.

For more news updates, follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter: @SaschaCordner.

Sascha Cordner has more than ten years of public radio experience. It includes working at NPR member station WUFT-FM in Gainesville for several years. She's worked in both radio and TV, serving in various capacities as a reporter, producer and anchor. She's also a graduate of the University of Florida with a bachelor's degree in telecommunications. She is the recipient of 15 awards from the Associated Press, Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), and Edward R. Murrow. Her award-winning stories include her coverage on the infamous “Dozier School for Boys” and a feature titled "Male Breast Cancer: Lost in the Sea of Pink." Currently, Sascha serves as the host and producer of local and state news content for the afternoon news program "All Things Considered" at WFSU. Sascha primarily covers criminal justice and social services issues. When she's not reporting, Sascha likes catching up on her favorite TV shows, singing and reading. Follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter:@SaschaCordner.