Skin cancer prevention needs to start early in life

Nov 29, 2010

People need to start protecting their skin at an early age

More than 8,000 people died from skin cancer in 2006, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Fortunately, a large number of skin cancers can be avoided through proper care.

One of the best ways to avoid being diagnosed with skin cancer is to start protecting one's skin early in life. The Skin Cancer Foundation says that a severe burn during one's childhood doubles a person's chances of developing melanoma.

The Skin Cancer Foundation president Dr. Perry Robins says children should be equipped with sunscreen not just during the summer months.

"Children spend a great deal of time outdoors throughout the school year - walking to and from school, and during recess, after-school sports and field trips," said Robins. "We encourage children to develop a year-round sun protection regimen to lower their risk of developing skin cancer later in life."

While providing a child with sunscreen now may reduce their risk of developing a bad burn, that isn't the only benefit. Better overall health may lead to lower health and life insurance premiums down the road.

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