After a hard Michigan winter that kept many residents inside, many are ready to enjoy the sunshine.
But health officials share skin cancer warnings with residents and urge caution when outside and inside.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the U.S. and Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer.
Angela Minicuci is with the Michigan Department of Community Health. She says that indoor and outdoor tanning come with a serious risk.
“Part of the reason that we want to make sure people are protecting themselves early in life from tanning from UV ray exposure in general is because it does lead to cancer,” Minicuci said, “Science has proven that. And there are things that we need to address and some myths we need to dispel so that people do understand that this is a risk. It is an injury that you are doing to your body and it does increase your risk of potentially getting this very serious form of cancer.”
Minicuci says one myth is that a base tan equals skin protection. But she says a base tan only provides an spf of about 3 which is not very helpful.
She said it doesn’t matter if you are tanning indoors or out, the risk of deadly skin cancer is still present, especially for youth.
“Indoor tanning has different risks than outdoor natural sunlight,” Minicuci said, “And recently the U.S. Food and Drug Administration came out with more stringent requirements regarding sunlamp products because of the risk that they pose especially to minors – so people who are young.”
Minicuci’s advice is to cover up and use sunscreen when outside.
According to the CDC’s latest data, over 61,000 people had skin cancer in 2010 and over 9,000 died from Melanoma cancer.