Waushara County Health News By Waushara County Health Department

Protect Yourself from Skin Cancer Summer is the time for fun in the sun, and residents and visitors of Waushara County know how to enjoy the outdoors. Whether it is for agriculture work or recreational fun, people can easily spend hours a day soaking up the sun’s rays.  However, before heading outside please be aware that significant exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet light can cause serious health issues, including skin cancer.   The National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) State Cancer Profile stated that the annual average for Waushara County was 8 people per year develop melanoma, one type of skin cancer. That may not seem like a large amount of people but that would be similar to one person in each community being diagnosed.  The chances of knowing the person or family are fairly high in small towns. The CDC states that skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States, with melanoma being the deadliest. If melanoma is detected early it can be treated.  However, if it is not it can spread to other parts of the body where it can be difficult to treat and can lead to death. Here are ways to protect yourself: Wear sunglasses and a hat; wear sunscreen and apply before going out into the sun and reapply after getting wet or sweating; stay in the shade using a beach umbrella, park shelters, or trees when possible. Watch for signs and symptoms of skin cancer following the ABCD rule: Asymmetry—the shape of one half of the mole doesn’t match the other; Border—edges are ragged or blurred; color—uneven shades of brown, black, tan, red, white, or blue; diameter—a significant change in size (greater than 6 mm). Whether you are working outside or recreational enjoying the outdoors, remember to enjoy the summer sun safely. This will protect you and your family from skin cancer.