9Health Fair: Colorado has high rates of skin cancer

KUSA - Reason No. 5 to attend 9Health Fair? Colorado has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the U.S.

An advantage of attending a 9Health Fair is talking to medical experts for free. Medical professionals volunteering their time conduct all the screenings. With a quick skin screening, the doctor can tell if there's something you should have checked out further.

Wearing sunscreen can prevent skin cancer. But you need to have the right kind of sunscreen and the right amount of it. Look for a sunscreen that has an SPF of 15 or higher, a broad-spectrum protection, and a seal of recommendation by the Skin Cancer Foundation.

The right amount of sunscreen to wear equals about what would fill a shot glass. Even on cloudy days, it's important to wear sunscreen because 40 percent of the UV rays will still reach the Earth's surface. You can take skin protection a step further by wearing protective clothing, like long-sleeve shirts, a wide-brimmed hat, and sunglasses.

Coloradans have a higher risk for skin cancer because of the outdoor lifestyle. The state gets a lot of sunshine, which is more intense due to the high elevation. The UV rays affect Coloradans in winter too - the snow acts like a reflector, intensifying the sun's affects by up to 80 percent.

Annual skin cancer screenings can be a lifesaver. The doctor will look at unusual or new moles and determine if they're something to worry about.

You can find a fair in your community that offers a skin screening by visiting: www.9healthfair.org/findafair.

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(KUSA-TV © 2014 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)


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