Mercy Health doctor warns of skin-cancer dangers this summer

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One in five Americans will develop skin cancer by the age of 70

(WYTV) – The warmer the weather, the more time people spend outside in the sun.

You want to be cautious when you’re soaking up the rays.

According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, more people are diagnosed with skin cancer each year in the U.S. than all other cancers combined.

Whether you’re taking a walk through the park or swimming at the pool, protecting yourself from the sun should be a priority, says Mercy Health Surgeon Dr. Adam Cash.

“Because you want to avoid sunburns,” he said. “Sunburns are directly related to skin cancers, specifically melanoma over one’s lifetime. So the number of sunburns you have, the higher risk you are for developing those type of cancers.”

From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. is when the sun is at its highest.

Dr. Cash said those who are in the sun will want to wear a hat, sunglasses and sunblock or sunscreen.

According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, one in five Americans will develop skin cancer by the age of 70.

Experts recommend a monthly head-to-toe self-examination of the skin.

“Really what you’re looking for are changes in the skin, so know your moles, know your body. If you notice a mole is changing in size, shape, texture, how the color is behaving in that lesion, needs some sort of attention,” Dr. Cash said.

Dr. Cash said if you’ve had a lot of sunburns or previous skin cancer, you should visit the doctor more often.

“Any skin cancer that is caught early is more curable, so, unfortunately, it’s those folks that tend to ignore those changes and ignore those lesions that end up with cancer that’s much harder to treat,” he said.

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