Do You Believe These Skin Cancer Myths?

Since the sun has become a more permanent fixture across the US this month, it only seems appropriate that May is dedicated to skin cancer awareness.

Even though it’s the most common form of cancer in the US, many people don’t know the basics on skin cancer — and as a result, they may believe or perpetuate dangerous skin cancer myths.

In an effort to spread the facts about skin cancer and help prevention efforts, we’re debunking some common skin cancer myths.

Don’t Be Fooled by These Skin Cancer Myths

Myth #1: To Protect Your Skin, Get a Base Tan

You might hear some people justify not applying sunscreen by saying that they need to establish a base tan to protect their skin from sun damage. However, doctors agree that a “safe” or “protective” tan simply doesn’t exist. By its very nature, a tan indicates the presence of skin damage, as the skin darkens while it tries to repair the sun damage and stop further injury to skin cell DNA. Developing a “base tan” will not protect your body from skin damage — it will only up your skin cancer risk.

Myth #2: You Can’t Get Sun Damage on a Cloudy DayTest Smartly Labs | Do You Believe These Skin Cancer Myths?

Even when the sun is blocked from view, damaging UVA and UVB rays can still filter through the clouds. Experts estimate that up to 80% can make it through cloud cover or fog. Don’t believe this skin cancer myth — be sure to apply your sunscreen, wear a hat, and cover skin even if the forecast calls for a cloudy day.

Myth #3: Windows Protect from Damaging Rays

It’s true that glass blocks most UVB rays. But what most people don’t realize is that we’re still vulnerable to UVA rays next to windows. Thus, though you may feel that you’re safe from skin cancer risk when you’re indoors or driving in the car, you could end up tanning, burning, and increasing your skin cancer risk. To prevent this, be sure to apply sunscreen when you’ll be at the window for extended periods, or consider getting special window film to prevent UVA exposure.

Myth #4: You Can Avoid Skin Cancer by Tanning at a Salon

While the salons certainly wish this skin cancer myth was true, in reality, those who tan indoors actually increase their risk of developing all forms of skin cancer. Even though the UVA radiation emitted from a tanning bed is a controlled dose, it is still a high one — research has shown that those who tan frequently, particularly with modern high-pressure sunlamps, are exposed to 12 times the UVA dose received from sun exposure in one year.

Monitor Skin Cancer Risk at Test Smartly Labs

One key to skin cancer prevention is monitoring your health to detect the signs of cancer early. Test Smartly Labs offers cancer screening panels so you can do just that. Simply walk in to one of our nationwide facilities, no doctor’s orders or insurance needed, and get your blood test today.

To learn more about the services offered by your local Test Smartly Labs, find the nearest location today.

Speak Your Mind