Everybody loves hitting the beach and soaking up the sun during a beautiful summer day, but as a cancer treatment cancer in the Orange County area, we have a different perspective on summer fun. While there’s nothing wrong with taking advantage of a beautiful day, extended exposure to the sun during summer can significantly increase your chances of skin cancer down the line. In fact, some experts estimate that just one bad sunburn during childhood can increase your chances of developing melanoma by as much as 50%. But it doesn’t have to be this way: with a little precaution and preparation, you can protect your skin from cancer while still enjoying the summer.
Why is the Sun Dangerous for Skin?
First, let’s take a look at what makes sunshine dangerous for your skin. The sun emits electromagnetic radiation – in other words, light – along a spectrum of frequencies. The majority of this light is visible light, which is a narrow band of all the colors that we can see. Just above this band in frequency lies ultraviolet light, and this is what causes problems for skin. Ultraviolet light has more energy than visual light, and when it hits the skin, it can cause damage at the cellular level – even at the level of DNA. Yes, that’s right: UV light can literally damage the DNA in your skin cells!
If enough UV light hits your skin over your lifetime, it can damage cells badly enough that they’ll start subdividing incorrectly. This is what leads to cancer. To prevent cancer, we need to protect the skin cells from UV damage in the first place.
How to Protect Your Skin from Sun Damage
The simplest, easiest, and most effective way to prevent skin cancer is sunscreen. Using a high SPF sunscreen (ideally 50+) blocks UV light from hitting your skin, which helps to prevent the damage that sun exposure can cause. Be sure to apply the sunscreen before you go outside and apply a generous amount to every inch of exposed skin. During summer, it’s also a good idea to apply sunscreen during your day-to-day life as well – it’s not just reserved for the beach. Small exposures to UV radiation can add up over time and be just as dangerous as bad burns. With care and caution, you can prevent the long-term damage that sunlight can cause and help minimize your risks of developing cancer.
Contact Orange County, CA Your Cancer Treatment Center
In addition to preventive measures like this, it’s also critical to regularly check your skin for moles or other mysterious spots, as these may be signs of precancerous growth or actual skin cancer tumors. If you do see something that looks suspicious, don’t wait – act immediately and get it checked. The earlier we can detect and diagnose cancer, the easier it is to treat. If you see something that looks like it could be skin cancer or if you have more questions on cancer prevention and treatment in general, the team at Orange County CyberKnife is here to help. We have years of experience treating cancer of all kinds for patients throughout the Orange County area, and we’re always happy to speak with current and new patients. Feel free to give us a call at 714.962.7100 if you have any questions or reach out to us at our contact page to schedule an appointment at our Orange County, CA cancer treatment center. In the meantime, go ahead and enjoy the summer – just be sure to put on sunscreen first!