Skin Cancer Awareness Month - Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Skin Cancer Awareness Month

Last year's scorching summer brought high temperatures and brutal sunlight, and too much exposure to the Texoma sun could have deadly effects.

Dr. Praveen Reddy M.D. is an Oncologist with Texas Oncology.  He said, "Skin cancer is the most common malignancy we see in the North American population.  Sunlight is the primary reason for the melanoma, the skin cancers."

Dr. Reddy said its too early to determine if last years extra sunny weather caused more people to develop skin cancer.  "We wont see the effects right away.  After 5 years, 10 years time you might see those things."

In the past few years there has been an increase in the number of skin cancer patients, due in part to people being more aware of the risks.

Dr. Reddy said family health care physicians are catching cancers early.  "The primary physicians are screening a lot more, the diagnostic tools are a lot more available so detection may be a lot more common now than 5 or 6 years before."

Still, people in Texoma and all across the southern United States are always at risk because of the amount of sun we deal with each year.  Dr. Reddy said the easiest way to avoid skin cancer is to stay out of the sun during the most harmful part of the day, between 10 and 4.  If you want to be out enjoying the day Dr. Reddy's advice is to cover up.    

"Try to wear long sleeve shirts, long pants, a big cap.  On the parts of the body that are exposed to sunlight, use the S.P.F factor 15 creams and you can reapply the creams if they dry out."

Jack Lamson,
Newschannel 6

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