Don't Fry this Friday

Kids in Hats Sun Glasses

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Start of Memorial Day Weekend helps remind people about the importance of being sun-safe

New York, NY (May 26, 2011) - It's the unofficial kick off to summer. After several long, cold months, millions will flock to the great outdoors this weekend to enjoy the weather. But as you head out for Memorial Day Weekend, the American Cancer Society wants to remind you about how important it is to protect yourself and keep sun safe.

The American Cancer Society recognizes the Friday before Memorial Day as Don’t Fry Day– a day to raise awareness of sun safety and encourage everyone to take steps to protect their skin. And there's a good reason for it.  Ultraviolet rays from the sun and other sources like tanning beds are the primary source of skin cancer, the most common cancer in the United States. More than 68,000 new cases of melanoma will be diagnosed this year.

“Melanoma is a big problem ---and growing”, said Dr. Arnold Baskies, President of the American Cancer Society of New York and New Jersey.  “It’s the most preventable and curable cancer, but also the most deadly.”

It only takes a few simple steps to be sun safe. You can shield your skin with clothing or sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher. Shade can help lower your risk too. 

Beginning on Don't Fry Day this Memorial Day Weekend, or anytime this summer you can also Slip! Slop! Slap!....and Wrap when you’re outdoors to be sun-safe.

Slip on a shirt: Cover up with protective clothing to guard as much skin as possible when you are out in the sun.

Slop on sunscreen: Use sunscreen and lip balm with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or higher. Use sunscreen even on hazy or overcast days.

Slap on a hat: Cover your head with a wide-brimmed hat, shading your face, ears, and neck.

Wrap on sunglasses: Wear sunglasses with 99% to 100% UV absorption to provide optimal protection for the eyes and the surrounding skin.

Also seek shade. Look for shade, especially in the middle of the day when the sun's rays are strongest. Practice the shadow rule and teach it to children. If your shadow is shorter than you, the sun’s rays are at their strongest. Lastly, avoid other sources of UV light. Tanning beds and sun lamps are dangerous because they can damage your skin. The American Cancer Society is currently supporting a measure in New York State that would prevent kids under the age of 18 from using indoor tanning.

Remember, you don’t need to avoid the sun altogether. Just be sure to take the steps that can protect your skin – on Don’t Fry Day and every day.

For more information from the American Cancer Society about skin cancer and the dangers of indoor tanning, log onto cancer.org or call 1-800-227-2345.

Additional Resources:
Be Safe in the Sun: An American Cancer Society guide to sun-safety
Learn About Cancer: Skin Cancer
ACS CAN: Support Tanning Reforms
Study Links Tanning Bed Use to Increased Risk of Melanoma

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About the American Cancer Society
The American Cancer Society combines an unyielding passion with nearly a century of experience to save lives and end suffering from cancer. As a global grassroots force of more than three million volunteers, we fight for every birthday threatened by every cancer in every community. We save lives by helping people stay well by preventing cancer or detecting it early; helping people get well by being there for them during and after a cancer diagnosis; by finding cures through investment in groundbreaking discovery; and by fighting back by rallying lawmakers to pass laws to defeat cancer and by rallying communities worldwide to join the fight. As the nation’s largest non-governmental investor in cancer research, contributing more than $3.4 billion, we turn what we know about cancer into what we do. As a result, more than 11 million people in America who have had cancer and countless more who have avoided it will be celebrating birthdays this year. To learn more about us or to get help, call us any time, day or night, at 1-800-227-2345 or visit cancer.org.