Melanoma Monday: What You Should Know

Sun protection

It’s Melanoma Monday, a day designated by the American Academy of Dermatology to raise awareness about skin cancer. Summertime is around the corner, and that means more time in the sun for activities like swimming, biking and having fun at the beach or playground. It’s also important to take time to protect yourself from the sun.

Studies have shown that sun exposure is responsible for the development of nearly two-thirds of all melanomas. Melanoma causes most skin-cancer-related deaths, but it’s often curable if detected early.

“It’s the things that we do to ourselves — mostly sun exposure and tanning beds — that increase our risk of melanoma and other skin cancers, so it’s something you really can protect yourself from,” says Jennifer Lucas, MD, a dermatologist at Cleveland Clinic.

It’s estimated that 80 percent of a person’s lifetime sun damage occurs before age 18.

Dr. Lucas says sunburn is typically the result of applying less than 50 percent of the recommended amount of sunscreen.