Looking forward to getting a summer tan? Aren't we all, but, be careful, and remember to take precautions first.

May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month, the most common kind of cancer in the United States.


According to the American Academy of Dermatology, the American Cancer Society and Sun Safety Alliance:
• 1 in 5 Americans will be diagnosed with skin cancer in their lifetime
• More than 3 million cases are diagnosed each year
• Melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, kills one person every hour
• Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States
• Spending 4+ hours in the sun's rays increases your risk
• Exposed areas are at higher risk: head, arms, legs, feet, top of chest and ears

The risk is even greater for children, who tend to be out in the sun more often than adults. Even one blistering sunburn can double a child's lifetime risk of developing skin cancer.

So, Spectrum Health is offering FREE skin cancer screenings today, Tuesday, May 3 from 4 to 6:30 p.m. at the following locations:
• South Pavilion, 80 68th Street SE, Suite 302, Cutlerville
• Grand Rapids Internal Medicine & Pediatrics, 1300 Michigan Street NE, Suite 202, Grand Rapids
• Spectrum Health Medical Group, 588 East Lakewood Boulevard, Holland
• Spectrum Health Medical Group, 2111 12 Mile Road NW, Sparta

Spectrum Health medical professionals will perform skin cancer screenings at no charge. Appointments are not required – walk-ins are welcome – and no blood work is needed. If a follow-up appointment is recommended, medical professionals will provide additional education and referral information.

So, how should you protect yourself when you do go out in the sun?
• Wear broad spectrum protection SPF30+ sunscreen
• Re-apply sunscreen about every two hours and after swimming or sweating
• Wear protective clothing
• Wear 99% to 100% UV absorption sunglasses
• Limit the amount of time you spend in direct sun
• Protect your skin even on cool or cloudy days
• Avoid using tanning beds

For more information about the screenings, call 616.486.5828 or visit www.spectrumhealth.org/cancer

If you have been diagnosed with cancer and would like a consultation or second opinion, call 1.855.SHCANCER (855.742.2623).