For most, Memorial Day heralds an official start of summer. The Harford County Health Department joins the National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention in observing Friday, May 27th as national “Don’t Fry Day” to encourage sun safety awareness.
Skin cancer affects all skin types and is the most common cancer in Maryland. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in the course of a lifetime.
To help reduce rising rates of skin cancer from overexposure to the ultraviolet (UV) rays of the sun, the Friday before Memorial Day has been designated “Don’t Fry Day” to remind the public, both young and old, of the importance of taking necessary precautions in protecting their skin while enjoying the outdoors. Because no single step can fully protect you and your family from overexposure to UV radiation, follow as many of the following tips as possible:
Do not tan or burn
Avoid using tanning beds and sun lamps
Seek shade; remember the sun’s UV rays are strongest between 10:00AM and 4:00PM
Wear sun-protective clothing, including hats
Generously apply sunscreen with SPF of 30 or higher, even in cloudy conditions
Use extra caution near water, snow and sand because of UV reflection
Check the UV index when planning outdoor activities
May also is Melanoma and Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month. The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2016, approximately 1,590 Marylanders and 76,380 persons in the United States will be diagnosed with melanoma skin cancer, the deadliest form of skin cancer. Unlike basal cell and squamous cell skin cancers, melanoma is more likely to spread to other parts of the body and accounts for 75% of skin cancer deaths.
Health Department CRF Cancer Prevention Services Coordinator Susan Twigg, R.N., reminds the
public that while skin cancer is highly preventable when correct steps are taken, involving your doctor is
equally important. “Also remember, early detection of skin cancers is critical. Ask your dermatologist or
primary care physician for a skin cancer screening and get checked today.”
For more information, visit the Harford County Health Department Skin Cancer Awareness website at