Skin Cancer Risks A Concern On Delmarva - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

Skin Cancer Risks A Concern On Delmarva

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DELMARVA - Soon, the sun will be shining a whole lot more, and with more time out and about comes an increased risk for skin cancer.

That risk is higher here on the shore, especially for children. While fun in the summer sun is most often care-free, it could cost them more down the road.

"Early childhood exposure to UV radiation is associated with the development of melanoma later in your life," said Dr. Thomas DeMarco, Medical Director for the Henson Cancer Institute at PRMC.

Skin cancer is the fifth most common form of cancer nationwide, but it comes in fourth on Delmarva.

"We have a lot of people that spend a great amount of the year outside," DeMarco said. "People can be at the beach or out or doing something for a greater part of the year so their exposure is high."

And in Delaware, the number of newly diagnosed cases rose 64 percent between 2005 and 2009, according to Delaware's Office of Health and Human Services.

"Melanoma is the one we worry about that's the kind of the cancer that is the most aggressive of all the skin cancers."

He adds that melanoma can be tricky showing up anywhere from the retina to your fingernail beds. And people with darker skin are not off the hook when it comes to the disease; they can still develop cancer.

But, no matter the skin complexion, protection early on could be key in prevention.

"I think education for the youth that area would make the biggest difference," said Dr. Daniel Cuozzo, dermatologist at Beebe Healthcare. "If people still want a tanning look rather going to a tanning bed or sitting out in the sun" people should use an application, like sprays or lotions.

Delaware's Department of Health and Human Services has launched a website for residents to find information on skin cancer, protection and prevention here: www.protectyourskinde.com.

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