Yale Cancer Center warns about melanoma risks as summer heats up

The hot weather may be bringing more people outside this week, but it may come at a cost.
The next time you go to the beach consider your skin.
"Every sunburn is dangerous," said Dr. Kathleen Suozzi, dermatologic surgeon at Yale Cancer Center.
Suozzi said even a few bad sunburns in childhood can lead to developing skin cancer later in life.
"When we look at what happens to skin cells after a sunburn, we see that the UV exposure causes something called apoptosis, which causes skin cells to die and in that process it also introduces mutations into the skin," said Suozzi.
In a recent study, the National Cancer Institute documented a 20% rate of skin cancer in Connecticut compared to 23% nationwide.
"The incidence of melanoma has been rising over the past decade," said Suozzi.
Suozzi said melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer, can show up as a mole on your skin. Dermatologists will remove it if it is big enough.
She recommended limited exposure to the sun and using sunscreen - preferably SPF 30 or above and applying it consistently every two hours.
Suozzi also suggested sun protective clothing.
"Many clothing brands now have clothing that's rated UPF, so UPF is almost like SPF, and it's telling you how much protection that that clothing is giving you from UV rays," said Suozzi.
If you do get skin cancer, Suozzi said surgery is the best way to treat it.
Doctors say they are now doing a better job of detecting melanoma earlier. The average age at diagnosis is 62.