Many people still get too much exposure to the sun even though nine out of every ten skin cancers, including melanoma, are caused by overexposure to ultraviolet radiation. More people are diagnosed with skin cancer each year in the United States than all other cancers combined. Learn more about melanoma here.
Research funded by the Melanoma Research Alliance and others continues to advance our understanding of the causes of melanoma, and how genetics may play a role. What we do know is that exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light is the major environmental contributor to melanoma.
Tips to Reduce Your Risk for Melanoma:
- Never Intentionally Expose Your Skin to the Sun. There is no such thing as a 'healthy' tan.
- Wear Sunscreen. Make sunscreen a daily habit. UV radiation can still damage skin even in the winter and on cloudy days. Use broad-spectrum sunscreen (protects against UVA and UVB rays) with SPF of at least 30. Learn more about sunscreen here.
- Wear Protective Clothing. Protect your body with sun-protective clothing, hat, and sunglasses. Learn more about protective clothing here.
- Avoid Peak Rays. Seek shade during the mid-day sun, when the sun’s rays are most intense. Learn more about the UV Index here.
- Don’t Use Tanning Beds. Indoor tanning has been shown to increase the risk of melanoma by up to 75%. Melanoma is one of the top three cancers diagnosed in young adults (ages 25-29), and scientists attribute this trend to the use of tanning beds among this age group, particularly young women.
- Protect Children. Children are particularly vulnerable to damage from UV rays. Just one bad sunburn in childhood or adolescence doubles your child’s chances of developing melanoma later in life.
In addition to practicing these sun safe habits, learn how to detect melanoma at its earliest stages, when it is most treatable, here.