Prioritizing Skin Health During Skin Cancer Awareness Month

May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month, where we highlight the importance of skin health as the sunny days of summer fast approach. At Legacy Community Health, we understand the unique health needs of our diverse Houston community. With rising skin cancer rates in Texas, especially in Houston, it’s essential to educate and empower individuals about the risks and preventive measures against skin cancer.

According to data from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Texas has a notable incidence of skin cancer. Houston, with its large population and extensive sun exposure, is a significant portion of these statistics. Skin cancers, including melanoma and squamous and basal cell carcinomas, pose a substantial risk in sun-drenched cities like Houston. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) emphasizes that early detection and prevention are key to combating this prevalent disease.

Understanding Skin Cancer Risks and Prevention

Skin cancer can affect anyone, regardless of skin color. While it’s commonly believed that individuals with lighter skin are at a higher risk, those with darker skin tones are not immune. Legendary musician Bob Marley, who passed away from melanoma, is a stark reminder that skin cancer can be deadly and non-discriminatory. Among Black individuals and people with deeper melanated complexions, melanoma often goes unrecognized, leading to late-stage diagnosis and lower survival rates.

Preventive measures may include:

  • Regular Skin Checks: Early detection of skin changes or new moles can be life-saving. Regular self-examinations and professional skin evaluations may detect complications early.
  • Sun Protection: Using sunscreen with at least SPF 30, wearing protective clothing, and seeking shade during peak sun hours (10 AM to 4 PM) can significantly reduce skin cancer risk.
  • Awareness and Education: Understanding the signs of skin cancer and the importance of early detection can lead to better health outcomes.

Skin cancer is a significant health concern that affects all members of our community. By taking the necessary steps toward prevention and early detection, we can fight skin cancer together. Let’s use this month to spread awareness and encourage our friends and family to prioritize their skin health. Remember, your skin protects you every day – it’s time to return the favor.

Early detection and regular screenings are vital: As we observe Skin Cancer Awareness Month, we encourage all our communities to take proactive steps towards better skin health.  If you are concerned about a skin change or wish to learn more about skin cancer prevention, we’re here to help! To make an appointment with your Legacy provider, please visit us online or call us at (832) 546-5000.