May marks Skin Cancer Awareness Month

Posted at 3:30 PM, May 15, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-15 17:52:42-04

KALISPELL – Spring is officially here, and while spending time outside in the sun is fun, you need to protect your skin.

May is national Skin Cancer Awareness Month. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, over 5 million cases of skin cancer are diagnosed each year.

Skin cancer is also the most common cancer in the country and Dr. Michael Hromadka, a plastic surgeon in the Flathead Valley, says preventative skin care should start early.

Young children and folks over 60 are at a higher risk for sun damage and Dr. Hromadka suggests sunscreen over SPF 30, and reapplying sunscreen every two hours.

PeopIe who have questions on what to look for can use a method that doctor’s use to identify skin cancer.

“ABCD, so asymmetry A for asymmetry, B for irregular borders, C for color change and D for diameter. Anything greater than about the width of a pencil eraser we say needs to be paid attention to,” Dr. Hromadka said.

He suggests those with fairer skin and lighter hair should be using hats to shield their face from harmful UV rays.

People with a history or family history of skin cancer should see their dermatologist every year to make sure their skin is safe.

Reporting by Maren Siu for MTN News