Health Department: Take precautions from the sun

With summer temperatures here, many residents are heading outdoors to enjoy the sunshine. But before doing that, the Trumbull Health Department encourages all residents to protect themselves from the sun during their daily routine.

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States, accounting for nearly half of all cancers. Melanoma is the most serious type of skin cancer. The American Cancer Society estimates 96,480 new cases of melanoma will be diagnosed in the United States this year. Of those, 930 cases will be diagnosed in Connecticut residents

There are three major types of skin cancer: basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and malignant melanoma. Basal cell and squamous cell carcinoma, commonly known as nonmelanoma skin cancer, are highly curable but can cause skin damage and disfigurement if they are left untreated. When detected and treated early, more than 95% of these carcinomas can be cured. Malignant melanoma is more serious and can result in death if untreated. Melanoma may suddenly appear without warning and can spread rapidly to other organs.

“Fortunately, skin cancer can be prevented and is highly curable if found early, said Health Director Luci Bango. “The best way to detect skin cancer early is to examine your skin regularly and recognize changes in moles and skin growths.”

Exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays appears to be the most important environmental factor in developing skin cancer. Everyone is at risk of developing skin cancer, regardless of one’s skin complexion.

The Health Department recommends the following practices to protect against the sun:

Dress appropriately - Wear long sleeve shirt, pants, hat, sunglasses and sunscreen;

Stay in the shade - Avoid being in the sun between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. when the sun’s ultraviolet rays are the strongest;

Use sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or greater on all exposed skin, and apply at least 20 minutes before going outside;

Use sunscreen that protects for UVA and UVB;

Reapply sunscreen after swimming, perspiring heavily, or drying skin with a towel;

Avoid indoor tanning.For more information on skin cancer visit the CDC website at and the American Cancer Society at