SPOKANE, Wash. - Summer means vacations to the beach and long hours out at the pool, which means a lot of exposure to the sun. And the Surgeon General is sending out a warning about skin cancer.
According to the American Cancer Society, skin cancer is on the rise, with more cases diagnosed annually than breast, prostate, lung and colon cancer cases combined.
Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer because of how fast it spreads to other parts of the body.
Each year more than 63,000 cases of melanoma are diagnosed in the United States, and 9,000 people die from it.
This week the Surgeon General has issued a call to action to prevent the disease, saying it's a major health problem. And he says America needs to take action immediately.
First, he says we need to change the social norms. According to the Surgeon General, all tanned skin is damaged skin. He says we need to shatter the myth that being tan is a sign of health.
The new recommendations for all individuals of all skin colors are to minimize sun exposure, use sunscren of at least SPF 15 very liberally, wear hats and protective clothing and get in the shade.
In his warning there are also goals for communities to decrease the risk, like providing shade at places like schools and businesses.
He also says it is important that parents teach their children about sun safety like they would dental care and healthy eating.
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