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Melanoma Awareness Month: How to prevent skin cancer

'The important thing you have to look at is what we can do to decrease sun exposure, because a lot of melanoma skin cancer is ultra violet light,' Dr. Jason Hechtman says
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Posted at 5:42 PM, May 31, 2024

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — We're taking a moment to remind you that living in Florida in our perpetual Sunshine State that sunscreen is always important, but especially this time of year, when the summer sun is most powerful.

Pack your sunscreen. In fact, doctors say, apply it about 20 minutes before you leave the house in the morning, if you can.

May is Melanoma Awareness Month and it’s served as a good reminder of what can happen when you don’t protect your skin.

“The important thing you have to look at is what we can do to decrease sun exposure, because a lot of melanoma skin cancer is ultra violet light," Dr. Jason Hechtman said. "So keep covered up, sunscreen like you talked about and also it’s skin checks. You have to be hyper vigilant about everything. If you see something weird, you see something strange, you got to be really vigilant on it."

Hechtman is a leading oncologist in Florida with the Cancer Institute at Tampa General. He said you should monitor your skin, look into your family's health history and do skin cancer screenings regularly.

“You got to look at your family, do a family history of melanoma and breast cancer," Hechtman said. "If you have all of these in your family, you've got to be hyperacute on that. Get skin checks by a dermatologist in a regular fashion."

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