GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Skin cancer is one of the most diagnosed cancers in the U.S. and is most often caused by overexposure to ultraviolet radiation rays.
There are a number of sources of UV radiation — both natural and artificial.
Dr. Crystal Lee, medical director in utilization management at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, says the exposure doesn’t have to be often to be harmful.
The first myth about skin cancer is that people who rarely go outside in the sun can’t get it. But in fact, tanning beds and some lighting can also emit UV rays.
Myth No. 2 is that people who tan easily without burning won’t get skin cancer. Dr. Lee says that is false and there is no safe tan.
Myth No. 3 is that it’s safer to tan in a tanning bed than outside in the sun. Dr. Lee says tanning beds significantly increase the risk of all skin cancers like basal cell, squamous cell and melanoma. It also causes wrinkles, sunspots and freckles.
There are ways to protect yourself. Wear clothing like lightweight fabrics and hats to cover your skin, use sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 and don’t forget to keep reapplying.