Whether you’re basking on one of Cape May County’s beautiful beaches this summer, working in the garden, going for a walk or running errands, taking a few sun smart precautions could save your life.
Taking additional steps to promote sun safety and the early detection of skin cancer, Choose Your Cover, a free statewide skin cancer screening, awareness and educational initiative, will once again take to the beaches this summer with the message of prevention.
Choose Your Cover 2011 will offer free skin cancer screenings in Cape May County on Saturday, July 16th at Beach Patrol Headquarters, Beach Avenue and Grant Street in the City of Cape May from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dr. Coyle S. Connolly, Board Certified Dermatologist and members of his staff will be available to the public, on a first come first serve basis, offering free skin cancer screenings. Pre-registration for the event is not required.
Currently, skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States with more than 3.5 million cases diagnosed each year, according to the American Cancer Society. Cape May County Freeholder Gerald Thornton said, “While the incidence of many common cancers is falling, the incidence of melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer, continues to rise.”
Although your family history and heredity, such as fair skin and light colored eyes, play a role in determining your risk for developing skin cancer, one of the major risk factors for melanoma and other forms of skin cancer, is overexposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays.
“Overexposure to sunlight is one of the most preventable risk factors for all types of skin cancer which is why it is so important to take precautions and reduce your risk accordingly,” added Kevin Thomas, Cape May County Health Officer.
Freeholder Thornton advises, “Wearing protective clothing like a wide-brimmed hat, avoiding the sun during the middle of the day when rays are strongest, using sunscreen and avoiding indoor tanning can go a long way toward reducing your risk for skin cancer.”
In addition to the skin cancer screenings by volunteer healthcare professionals, participants receive free sunscreen and a wealth of information about precautions to protect their skin.
For more information about how you can participate in Choose Your Cover in Cape May County, call Dick Colosi, CMC Department of Health at 609-463-6521.