Getting to know your sunscreen to prevent skin cancer - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Paducah, KY

Getting to know your sunscreen to prevent skin cancer

Getting to know your sunscreen to prevent skin cancer
By: Erica Byfield

Paducah, KY - The summer weather season is underway; temperatures are in the upper 80's and 90's across the Heartland, and along with heat come the piercing rays of the sun.

"I didn't think I would get sun burned, was only out there for about three hours," said 18 year old Paducah native Martin Wurth.

The day after celebrating Memorial Day he's stuck with a red painful sun burn.

"I was out on the lake having a good time, sitting on the boat," said Wurth, and Tuesday he's re-thinking his decision to lay out without sunscreen, "this kind of hurts a little bit."

Dr. Gary McMillan says Wurths' not the only one in the heartland begging for a burn or even worse cancer.

In his more than 30 years in the field, McMillan said he's failed to have one day when he did not diagnose someone with skin cancer.

"In the last few months I have had three patients how've not only had one melanoma on their 1st occasion of seeing me but they actually had two melanomas on my 1st exam of them."

Dr. McMillan said the increase is due to two reasons. One, we're not using sun screen like we're supposed to, sun screen was never meant to be applied to the skin so that you could get more sun." Two, we're not using common sense, "if your looking at a mole think ABCD. A stands for asymmetry, B for border is irregular, C the color is brown, red, or black and D the diameter."

He suggests looking in a full length mirror every few months and giving your body a good check.

Thankfully Martin Wurth did, a few months ago he noticed a growth on his back, "it was getting a little big and they thought it was skin cancer."

But, he ended up being fine and said the next time he hits the lake he's bring along some SPF.

McMillan adds by the age of twenty we get 80 percent of the sun we'll get in our lifetimes.

Therefore, he can not stress the need for parents to get their children in the habit of applying sunscreen now.

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