Live Healthy: DHEC’s Health & Environment Blog

Live Healthy: DHEC’s Health & Environment Blog

Be Sun Safe: May is Skin Cancer Prevention Month

May 09, 2019
Sun bathing tanning gif

(GIF Credit:

Sundress and shorts season has officially begun.  Are you protected?  According to the 2018 South Carolina Health Assessment, melanoma of skin (skin cancer) is the 5th leading cause of new cancer cases in the state (see below).

SC Leading Number of New Cases of Cancer, 2015

Did you know that skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States with nearly 5 million people treated each year?  Skin cancer is caused by too much exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun and other sources such as tanning beds.  Anyone can get skin cancer, but it can be cured if found and treated early.  Talk to your doctor if you notice any unusual moles or changes to your skin.

Whether you are taking a trip to the beach or doing some much-needed gardening, it is important to protect your skin from the sun.  

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), here are some tips to keep in mind:
•    Stay in the shade, especially during midday hours
•    Wear clothing that covers your arms and legs
•    Wear a hat with a wide brim to shade your face, head, ears, and neck
•    Wear sunglasses that wrap around and block UVA and UVB rays
•    Use sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) or 15 or higher, and both UVA and UV protection
•    Avoid indoor tanning 

Being in the sun does not have to be worrisome.  Just make sure you protect yourself. Visit the CDC for more fun safety tips and  follow their  hashtag #SunSafeSelfie for pictures of people all over the world who are taking action to protect themselves from the sun – and having fun while doing it!


Beaches Cancer Media Relations Prevention Protect Yourself Protection SC DHEC Skin South Carolina Surfside Beach Statewide