The National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention partners with EPA’s SunWise program to designate the Friday before Memorial Day as “Don’t Fry Day” in efforts to reduce the rising rates of skin cancer. While skin cancer largely is preventable, it remains by far the most common type of cancer in the United States, with over 2 million new cases of diagnosed annually – that’s more than new cases of breast, prostate, lung and colon cancers combined.
“As millions of Americans head outdoors for family fun on Memorial Day weekend – the unofficial kick-off to summer – ‘Don’t Fry Day’ is an important reminder for the public to protect their skin from ultraviolet (UV) radiation while enjoying the outdoors,” said Sandra I. Read, M.D., co-chair of the National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention. “While most everyone enjoys a sunny day, keeping your skin safe from overexposure to UV radiation can be easy by practicing simple sun-safety tips.”
This year, the National Council urges people to think beyond sunscreen to protect their skin while enjoying the outdoors. While generous sunscreen usage is an important way to protect your skin from the sun, additional sun safety measures also can help prevent skin cancer.
The National Council recommends:
- Avoid burning, intentional tanning and using tanning beds;
- Wear sun-protective clothing, a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses;
- Seek out shade;
- Use extra caution near water, snow and sand; and
- Get vitamin D safely through food and vitamin D supplements.
- Check the UV Index to learn your daily risk of overexposure to the sun.
The American Cancer Society estimates that 68,130 cases of malignant melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer, were diagnosed in 2010 in the United States. Melanoma is now one of the most common cancers among young adults ages 15-29, and one American dies of melanoma almost every hour.
To minimize the harmful effects of too much UV exposure, the National Council stresses that comprehensive protection from UV radiation should be a lifelong practice for everyone.