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Sun Season Is Here: Tips to Help You Prevent Skin Cancer

Protect your skin from harmful ultraviolet rays


Even on a cloudy day, ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun reaches the Earth, and those UV rays put you at risk for developing skin cancer. Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer diagnosed each year in the United States with roughly 5 million new cases reported. However, it’s also one of the most preventable types of cancer and one of the most treatable thanks to a host of new options, including clinical trials.

Lehigh Valley Topper Cancer Institute offers leading-edge procedures and treatments for melanoma and is a member of the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Alliance. This alliance gives patients access to the latest cancer treatments, leading-edge clinical trials, and the diagnosis and treatment expertise of MSK physicians. Patients, especially those with advanced metastatic melanoma, gain the benefit of being among the first to receive groundbreaking immunotherapy medications, which are proving to be lifesaving.

What you can do to protect yourself

Fortunately, there’s plenty you can do to protect your skin and reduce your risk for melanoma and other forms of skin cancer.

  • Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF (sun protection factor) of 30 or higher, and be sure to reapply every two hours or after sweating or swimming.
  • Stay out of the sun and look for shade, especially between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
  • Wear sun-protecting clothing (hats, swimsuit coverups, etc.).
  • Make sure that your children are protected as well. Babies over 6 months of age can wear sunscreen.

Learn the A, B, C, D, E’s of melanoma

An early skin cancer diagnosis will result in a better outcome, which is why Michael Evans, MD, with LVH Hematology Oncology–Hazleton, part of Lehigh Valley Topper Cancer Institute, suggests routine self-exams. “Regularly examine your body for signs of skin cancer,” Dr. Evans says. “If you notice any spot that changes, itches or bleeds, see your primary care provider or a dermatologist. The sooner skin cancer is diagnosed, the greater your treatment options.”

In order to do a self-exam of your skin, Dr. Evans suggests following the A, B, C, D, E criteria. Look for:

A – Asymmetrical moles

B – Borders that are irregular

C – Color variations

D – Diameter no more than a pencil eraser

E – Evolution or changes to your moles

To learn more about skin cancer, go to and watch a melanoma survivor’s story.

If you notice any of these signs, call your primary care clinician's office. If you need a doctor, please visit or call us at 888-402-LVHN (5846).

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