Skin cancer awareness and prevention

By: Alex Hambrick Email
By: Alex Hambrick Email

Colorado has the highest ultra violet index in the U.S.

Just one blistering sun burn can double your risk of developing melanoma, and Coloradans are at the greatest risk.

Cancer survivor Debra Hess spent a lot of time under the sun in her youth but now she's the lady at baseball games with a hat and an umbrella handing out sunscreen by the handfuls to anyone who needs it.

"As a young lady we laid out with baby oil and iodine on our skin because we didn't know any better and now I have malignant melanoma," said Hess.
Now Hess works at the St. Mary's cancer center and does community outreach for cancer survivors and cancer prevention.

Hess said sunscreen is really your last resort against sun damage and its better to cover up with clothes, but if you are going to be outside apply it 30 minutes before going outdoors and re-apply every two hours.

It's important to be aware of your body as well and there are 5 things to look out for:
A- Asymmetry- Is one side symmetrical to the other?
B- Boarder- Is the boarder irregular?
C- Color- Does the mole have multiple colors?
D- Diameter- Melanomas are usually greater than the size of a pencil eraser.
E- Evolving- Does it look different from the rest or is it changing in size, shape or color?

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