Published 7:28 pm Monday, June 9, 2008
Story by Lisa Tindell
Basking in the sun in an attempt to achieve a healthy glow could have the opposite effect.
According to statistics from the American Cancer Society, almost 8,000 people die each year of skin cancer.
Dr. William C. Hixson with the Gulf Coast Cancer Center in Brewton, said skin cancer is still, in some ways, a mystery.
Hixson said one activity that increases the risk for skin cancer, or melanoma, is excessive exposure to the sun.
Although extended exposure to the sun is one of the main risk factors for developing skin cancer, Hixson said there are other risks that should be watched closely.
The symptoms of skin cancer are ones that may be overlooked, Hixson said.
By avoiding or minimizing risks, patients have a better chance to remain cancer free, Hixson said. However, patients should see a doctor if a have a mole or growth changes and causes concern.
According to the American Cancer Society, the best prevention methods for skin cancer are:
The best way to lower the risk of melanoma is to avoid too much exposure to the sun and other sources of UV light.