Early sun protection can dramatically reduce lifetime risk of sk - KFVE, K5-Hawaii News, Weather and Sports

Early sun protection can dramatically reduce lifetime risk of skin cancer

Doctors say wearing a big hat, reapplying sun block and wearing sunglasses early can dramatically reduce the chance of skin cancer. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Doctors say wearing a big hat, reapplying sun block and wearing sunglasses early can dramatically reduce the chance of skin cancer. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
After undergoing numerous surgeries and multiple rounds of chemotherapy, Tara Beye now takes every precaution to protect herself. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) After undergoing numerous surgeries and multiple rounds of chemotherapy, Tara Beye now takes every precaution to protect herself. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Dr. Neel Patel recommends protective clothing rather than sunscreen for kids under 6 months. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Dr. Neel Patel recommends protective clothing rather than sunscreen for kids under 6 months. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
If you use spray-on products, Dr. Patel advises actually rubbing them in. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) If you use spray-on products, Dr. Patel advises actually rubbing them in. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
PHOENIX -

Tara Beye doesn't know if sun exposure is what caused her malignant melanoma, but she knows it very well could be.

“I grew up in Arizona so we played outside. You played outside all day long in the middle of summer. You don't really think about it. I don’t remember every hearing about sunblock,” Beye said.

Dr. David Boyd, MD at Cancer Treatment Centers of America, where Beye is being treated, says UV exposure is always a leading suspect.

“The sun in general just the ultraviolet light associated with being out in the sunlight does cause damage to the skin,” Boyd said.

And, after undergoing numerous surgeries and multiple rounds of chemotherapy, Beye now takes every precaution to protect herself.

“I make sure I have my sun block with me to reapply every couple of hours. I always wear a big floppy hat, and there are tons of cute ones out there right now and I always make sure I wear sunglasses,” Beye said.

[RELATED: Options for parents avoiding sunscreens with chemicals]

Dermatologist Dr. Neel Patel, MD at HonorHealthsays taking that advice early can dramatically reduce the chance of skin cancer.

“It was shown if we can protect kids with an SPF 15 on a daily basis from ages 2 to 20, you can reduce your lifetime risk of getting a skin cancer by about 70 to 80 percent," Patel said.

Dr. Patel recommends protective clothing rather than sunscreen for kids under 6 months, and for kids from 6 months to 6 years, sunscreens with zinc or titanium rather than chemical blocks.

“Especially for the face because it is white and pasty and I know if it comes off we need to be reapplying,” Patel said. 

If you use spray-on products, he advises actually rubbing them in.

“I do not recommend just sprayed onto the body and go out because the application is very uneven,” Patel said.

[RELATED: Schools can't ban sunscreen under new Arizona law]

Although for most people, most sun exposure comes before the age of 20, you need to keep using sunscreen no matter how old you are.

“So we do find the continued use of sunscreens even if you have had skin cancers does in the long term decrease the number you are going to make in the future,” Patel said.

And, for patients who have had some skin cancers, a recent study show vitamin B-3, niacinamide, can actually reduce the reoccurrence.

“The group in the treatment side, taking niacinamide had 30 percent fewer squamous cell carcinomas and 20 percent basal cell carcinomas, compared to the placebo group,” Patel said.

Finally, Beye, who is undergoing immunotherapy, says whether it is using protection or seeing the doctor, if you do see something suspicious, take the power to control your own health.

"Go get it checked out early, don't be afraid to go to the doctor that is what they are there for," Beye said.

Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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