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Skin cancer prevention important with nice weather

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LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW)-  According to the American Cancer Society, more than 3.5 millions cases of skin cancer are diagnosed in the country each year.  Melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer, will account for more than 76,000 cases of skin cancer in 2014.

With summer around the corner, people need to protect their skin from too much sun exposure.  The risk factors are much greater during the long days of summer.  Dr. Stephen Webster, dermatologist at Gundersen Health System, gives some suggestions on ways to prevent skin cancer.  Some of these suggestions include: Seeking shade between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., wearing a hat, avoiding tanning beds, and using a broad spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30.  You should apply sunscreen 20-30 minutes before you go outside and reapply every 2 hours you are out in the sun.

Cases of skin cancer have increased within these last couple of years.  Dr. Webster said, "Now the tan is associated with Hollywood and Caribbean cruises.  People think that is attractive.  When I see a deeply tanned individual that's a pre-cancerous glow as far as I'm concerned.  So, we have to keep people aware to be outside, exercise and enjoy this beautiful part of the country but protect yourself just like you wear your coat in the winter time."

Webster suggests to seeing a-- doctor once a year for a professional skin exam.  If you see a suspicious mole, do not waste any time and go in right away.

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