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Skin Cancer Prevention

May is Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month.

Hot Springs, Ark. –  May is Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month.  Skin cancer can affect anyone, but when caught early it is treatable.  Skin cancer can be classified as Actinic Keratoses (AK) which are precancerous growths that appear as dry, scaly patches or spots.  These include the most common form - Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC); Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC); or Melanoma, which is the deadliest form of skin cancer.  BCCs can form anywhere, but are usually found on the head, neck and arms.  These appear as flesh-colored bumps or pink patches of skin and develop after frequent exposure to the sun or indoor tanning.  SCCs are the second most common type of skin cancer and appear as red firm bumps, scaly patches, or as sores that heal and then re-open.  SCCs can be found on areas that get a lot of sun exposure such as the face, neck, arms, chest, back, and the rim of the ears.  Melanoma might appear suddenly as a new dark spot or in an already existing mole. 

The good news is skin cancer is preventable.  Follow these guidelines to help reduce your risk: 

  • Use sunscreen.  Even on days that are cloudy, apply sunscreen to all skin that is not covered up by clothing.  Sunscreen should be re-applied every 2 hours or after swimming or sweating.
  • Use the right SPF.  Sunscreen should have an SPF of at least 30, be water-resistant, and broad spectrum that protects against both UVA and UVB rays.
  • Use the shade.  The sun’s rays are the strongest between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.  If you are outside and your shadow is shorter than you are, look for some shade.
  • Use clothing.  You can protect your skin with long-sleeved shirts, long pants, sun glasses and wide-brimmed hats.
  • Use caution.  Sun, sand, water, and snow can reflect the sun’s rays and make them more intense, increasing your risk of a sunburn. 
  • Use self-tanner.  Self-tanners can help add color without the risks associated with over exposure to the sun or from using a tanning bed. 
  • Use your mirror.  Check your skin regularly for any signs of skin cancer. You can download detection tips from aad.org or skincancer.org. 

Performing regular self-examinations or by seeing your doctor regularly, you can spot changes in your skin that can help detect skin cancer.  Skin cancers that are found and removed early are usually curable. For more information, contact the Garland County Extension Office at 623-6841 or 922-4703, email Jessica at jvincent@uaex.edu, or visit our website at www.uaex.edu.

EHC Information

Are you interested in joining an existing Extension Homemakers Club? EHC is the largest volunteer organization in the state. For information on EHC call 623-6841 or 922-4703 or email jvincent@uaex.edu.

Master Gardeners

If you’re interested in becoming a Master Gardener and would like more information, you’re welcome to attend their monthly meeting on the 3rd Thursday of each month at 1pm at the Elks Lodge.  You may also call the Extension office on 623-6841 or 922-4703 or email abates@uaex.edu.

4-H Information

We have several 4-H clubs for our Garland county youth who are 5 to 19 years old.  For more information on all the fun 4-H activities there are, call the Extension Office at 623-6841 or 922-4703 or email Linda Bates at lbates@uaex.edu.

The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to all eligible persons regardless of race, color, national origin, religion, gender, age, disability, marital or veteran status, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer. 

By Jessica Vincent
County Extension Agent - FCS
The Cooperative Extension Service
U of A System Division of Agriculture

Media Contact: Jessica Vincent
County Extension Agent - FCS
U of A Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service
236 Woodbine Hot Springs AR 71901
(501) 623-6841
jvincent@uaex.edu

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  • The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action institution. If you require a reasonable accommodation to participate or need materials in another format, please contact your County Extension office (or other appropriate office) as soon as possible. Dial 711 for Arkansas Relay.

    The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to all eligible persons regardless of race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.

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