The rate of skin cancer has doubled over the past 30 years and will continue to grow unless more is done to prevent overexposure to UV rays, according to a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
More than 9,000 people die each year from melanoma, a form of skin cancer caused by ultraviolent rays from the sun or tanning beds. In 2011, there were more than 65,000 new cases of melanoma.
However, the CDC reports that nearly one-third of those can be easily prevented. But it will take entire communities coming together to make it work. The report recommends four key steps:
- Increase shade at playgrounds, pools and other public areas.
- Start promoting the use of hats, sunscreen and sunglasses in recreation areas.
- Educate students more about sun safety and sun protection.
- Restrict the use of tanning beds.
The CDC recommends further measures for people to avoid unwanted sun exposure:
- Wear a wide-brimmed hat and other protective clothing outdoors.
- Take shade in the midday hours if outside for long periods of time.
- Use a sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher.
- Avoid tanning beds.