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Skin Cancer Risk Reduction

According to the National Cancer Institute, skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. Studies suggest that reducing exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays (high-energy rays from the sun, sunlamps or tanning booths) can lower risk for nonmelanoma skin cancer. Individual risk of melanoma is correlated with the intensity of sunlight that a person receives over a lifetime. You can reduce sun exposure by limiting outdoor activities when the sun is strongest (11 am to 3 pm), wearing protective clothing (such as long sleeves and hats), and by using a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15.

Internet Resources Journal Articles Support

Internet Resources Skin Cancer
Provides access to authoritative documents from the National Cancer Institute, including information about treatment, supportive care, and clinical trials.
American Academy of Dermatology: Skin CancerNet
The American Academy of Dermatology is a professional association of practicing dermatologists. This site includes sun protection tips and a guide to help you check your skin for suspicious moles or other lesions.
Skin Cancer Foundation
The Skin Cancer Foundation is the only national and international organization concerned exclusively with cancer of the skin. It is dedicated to prevention, support, education, and research.

Journal Articles

"Be Sun Safe! Understand Skin Cancer Prevention and Detection." MEDSURG Nursing. 14(4): 254-256. Yoder LH. August 2005.
"Here Comes the Sun, So Watch Out! You Probably Need to Use More Sunscreen--and Other Tips About Sun Protection You May Not Know". 28(8):1-2. Harvard Health Letter. June 2003.
"Screening for Cancer: Colon, Lung, and Skin Cancers. Harvard Men's Health Watch". 10(3):1-5. October 2005.
"Skin Cancer Epidemic: Take Steps to Avoid Sun Damage. Mayo Clinic Health Letter". 24(4):1-3. April 2006.
"Skin Cancer: With Summer Coming, It's a Timely Topic. 23:3". Child Health Alert. May 2005.


Northwestern Memorial Hospital's Health Learning Center has joined forces with the American Cancer Society's Patient Navigator Program to provide assistance to patients and families dealing with cancer. To take advantage of this unique service, provided by a licensed clinical social worker, call 312-926-4282.