The Minimalist Guide To Preventing The Most Common Cancer

Question: What is the most common form of cancer in the United States?

Did you guess lung cancer? Breast cancer? 

If so, you’d be wrong. 

Skin cancer is the number one cancer in the country, accounting for more than half of all cancers. More than one million cases are diagnosed each year, and an estimated 10,000 people die.

So what can you do to prevent this widespread cancer? 

Here are some tips from the experts:

Avoid spending too much time in the sun, especially between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. If you go outside, stay in the shade.

Cover up. Dress in light-colored, lightweight clothing that covers your arms and legs. Use a brimmed hat to shade your face and neck. Wear UV-blocking sunglasses to protect your eyes.

Choose sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or greater. Make sure it protects against UVA and UVB rays.

Apply sunscreen 30 minutes before you go outside. And again every 2 to 3 hours. Don’t forget your ears, face, neck, hands and the tops of your feet.

Early detection can be a lifesaver. Even melanoma, the most deadly of all skin cancers, can be caught before it spreads, raising the five-year survival rate to 99 percent.
When checking your moles and birthmarks, remember your ABCDs: Watch out for asymmetry, irregular border, differing color and growing diameter.

How Gwinnett Medical Center Can Help

Learn more about choosing the best sunscreen, best practices in using it, and how it actually works at Gwinnett Medical Center’s Health (e) Library. Or find a physician to check your moles and birthmarks at


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