"Don't Fry Day" spreads warning about skin cancer - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

"Don't Fry Day" spreads warning about skin cancer, encourages sunscreen


It may not be marked on your calendar, but May 24th is "Don't Fry Day." Its a reminder to wear your sunscreen when you're out and about.

Ann Hoeppner with the American Cancer Society said skin cancer prevention is important and the number of cases of this type of cancer has grown over the last 30 years.

In 2013 in Iowa, roughly 1,000 people will be diagnosed with melanoma, and nearly 90 people will die from it. Cancer of the skin is by far the most common of all cancers.

Statistically, one in five people will face a skin cancer diagnosis in their lifetime. The American Cancer Society estimates more than 2 million new cases of highly curable basal and squamous cell cancers will be diagnosed this year.

The most serious form of skin cancer is melanoma, which is diagnosed in over 77,000 people each year and causes about 9,400 deaths.

Nationally, one person each hour of every day dies from melanoma. 

The ABCD rule is a guide to the usual signs of melanoma. Be on the lookout and tell your doctor about spots that have any of the following features:

  • A is for Asymmetry - One half of a mole or birthmark does not match the other.
  • B is for Border - The edges are irregular, ragged, notched, or blurred.
  • C is for Color - The color is not the same all over and may include shades of brown or black, or sometimes with patches of pink, red, white, or blue.
  • D is for Diameter - The spot is larger than 6 millimeters across (about ¼ inch - the size of a pencil eraser), but melanoma can sometimes be smaller than this.

It's also important to reduce cancer risk by seeking shade, avoiding tanning beds and sunlamps and protecting children from the sun.

For more information contact the American Cancer Society at 1-800-227-2345 or visit www.cancer.org.

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