People are still avoiding Skin Cancer warnings - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

People are still avoiding Skin Cancer warnings

June 24, 2003

Albany--The dangers of too much sun have been known for years but many people, in their quest for the perfect tan, ignore the warnings. Others simply fail to take the proper measures to protect themselves, and the results may be skin cancer. 

 Young sun worshippers are not paying attention to skin cancer warnings. Missy Olson  is twenty years old and enjoys sunbathing but doesn't use any form of protection from the sun.  "I know I should because skin cancer is really serious but I just don't," says Olson. 

 Skin cancer does not discriminate and can pop up on anyone.  Bobby Kitchens, an Albany constuction worker who is out in the sun nearly every day says "I've had guys that worked with me that died of cancer."

Most of the spots on your skin are freckles, birthmarks or moles, but some may be skin cancers.  There are three types of cancer which are are Basal Cell Carcinoma, Squamous Cell Carcinoma and the deadliest form of skin cancer, Maligant Melanoma.  Especially if you sunbathe or work in the sun, you should check your skin frequently to begin early treatment if you notice anything abnormal.

Older caucasian males have the highest mortality rates from Malignant Melanoma. Jimmy Pritchett has already been treated for skin cancer and admits neither he nor most of his co-workers in the construction business take the proper precautions to protect themselves from the sun's harmful rays. "Most of them don't take any measures some of them use sunscreen. I wear sunscreen sometimes, not as often as I should but most of the guys. They really don't worry about it too much,"Pritchett said. 

 For those who love to get bronzed in the sun or in a tanning booth take Dr. Melinda Greenfield's advice from the Albany Dermatology Clinic. She says "Any tan that you get is a sign of damage so there's no such thing as a healthy tan, so the only tan that you can have, and it be healthy would be the type of tan you get from the bottle."

Dr. Greenfield says exposure from the sun is most dangerous from 10:00 am. to 2:00 pm.

Posted at 6:22 PM. by jennifer.hulsey@walb.com

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