The American Cancer Society reports spike in skin cancer

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Regardless of your race or skin tone, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Servicers says no one should think they’re immune to skin cancer.

Dr. Wilson Mertens, Director of Cancer Services at Baystate Medical Center told 22News skin cancer may be the most common cancer, but it should be almost completely preventable.

Yet each year, 63- thousand Americans are diagnosed with the deadliest form of skin cancer, Melanoma.

“One of the problems is that if we live long enough and we’re walking around outside we’re going to have exposure to UV radiation,” Dr. Mertens explained.

Over the past three decades skin cancer rates rose two hundred percent, resulting in the U.S. Surgeon General urging sunbathers to stay out of dangerous ultraviolet rays in hopes of preventing future cases.

Mertens said it takes more than just putting sunscreen on at the beach or finding a shady area at the park to prevent skin cancer.

“If you’re concerned about your exposure on a particular day, cover up, and get out of the peak period of sun,” he said.

The UV peak period is usually between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. when the sun’s light is the strongest, making burns harder to avoid.

A single sunburn can increase the risk of skin cancer, which is why doctors recommend wearing a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen, before heading outdoors.

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