Staying Sun Smart to Reduce Skin Cancer Risks

Southern Nevada offers 295 days of sunshine on average per year.  That means, living in Southern Nevada requires year-around attention to protecting your skin. Comprehensive Cancer Centers reminds everyone to be sun-smart and take necessary precautions to mitigate the risks of UV rays from the sun. Efforts such as UV Safety Month in July provide the opportunity to reinforce the simple precautions residents need to take to reduce their risks for skin cancer and other health issues.

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. According to the American Cancer Society, nearly 850 Nevadans will be diagnosed with melanoma of the skin this year—higher than 2018 and work needs to be done to encourage people to be more cautious with time spent in the sun.

There are three major types of skin cancer treated by the oncologists at Comprehensive Cancer Centers: basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and malignant melanoma. Malignant melanoma is the most serious type of skin cancer and more likely to spread to other parts of the body. Both basal cell and squamous cell carcinoma are highly treatable. Reducing risks for skin cancer starts with understanding UV rays and working towards minimizing exposure by being sun smart all year long.

What Are UV Rays and What Do They Do?

The sun emits radiation known as UV-A and UV-B rays. Both types can damage your eyes and skin. UV-B rays have short wavelengths that reach the outer layer of your skin. UV-A rays have longer wavelengths that can penetrate the middle layer of your skin. Unprotected sun exposure, and UV rays, can cause the following harm to residents of Southern Nevada:

  • Skin cancer
  • Damage to your eyes
  • Immune system suppression
  • Premature aging

By learning the risks associated with too much sun exposure and taking the right precautions to protect you and your family from UV rays, everyone can enjoy the sun and outdoors safely. The following are simple things that can minimize the risk that comes with sun exposure.

Cover Up: Wearing a Hat (preferably wide brimmed) or other shade-protective clothing can partly shield your skin from the harmful effects of UV ray exposure. Proper clothing may include long-sleeved shirts, pants, hats, and Sunglasses – for eye protection.

Stay in the Shade: The sun’s glare is most intense at midday. Staying in the shade between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. will further protect your skin. The sun can still damage your skin on cloudy days or in the winter. For this reason, it is important to stay protected throughout the year.

Choose the Right Sunscreen: This is extremely important. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s new regulations for sunscreen labeling recommend that your sunscreen have a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30 and should protect against both Ultraviolet A (UV-A) and Ultraviolet B (UV-B) rays. When out in the sun, apply at least one ounce of sunscreen every two hours. Apply sunscreen more often when sweating or swimming, even if the sunscreen is waterproof. Recent reports have come out that may have some wondering about the benefits of sunscreen usage, with experts reaffirming the benefits of sunscreen as critical in reducing cancer risks.

Comprehensive Sunscreen Partnerships

Comprehensive Cancer Centers works hard to help preserve the health and well-being of the Las Vegas community. Our goal is to use a proactive approach in preventing unnecessary skin conditions.

We have established sunscreen partnerships with the following partners: Wet‘n’Wild Las VegasLas Vegas AviatorsUNLV Rebel FootballLas Vegas Lights FC, Nevada Cancer CoalitionLas Vegas Springs PreserveDowntown Summerlin®Cowabunga Bayand the Cadence master-planned community.

We also established a partnership with Clark County Parks and Recreation to offer free sunscreen kiosks at 42 facilities including rec centers, senior centers, pools and camp sites. Click here for a complete list of locations. Additionally, we work with the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada (RTC) on its annual Summer Heat campaign, donating free sunscreen to protect riders from the effects of the sun’s powerful UV rays and attending outreach events throughout the summer to discuss safety with transit riders.

We also have a long-standing partnership with The PENTA Building Group, providing free sunscreen and skin safety tips for construction workers on sites throughout Las Vegas and California.

Our partnerships are incredibly powerful, as we are bringing skin safety awareness directly to the locations where so many Southern Nevadans work and play. These free sunscreen partnerships are example of that commitment to our residents. There are more than 200 types of cancers and this is one type we can actually prevent. We want people to protect themselves now by using sunscreen, staying active, eating well and quitting smoking so that they stay healthy and don’t become our patients later. Additionally, we are huge advocates for screenings because early detection can save lives.

Comprehensive Cancer Centers Can Help

Physicians at Comprehensive Cancer Centers provide a variety of treatment options for patients with skin cancer and melanoma through world-class care and groundbreaking clinical research. To schedule an appointment with the team at Comprehensive, please call 702-952-3350.

The content is this post is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.