On this "Don't Fry Day," woman shares message after battle with melanoma
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- The Friday before Memorial Day is designated as "Don't Fry Day" to raise awareness about skin cancer. One woman is sharing a message for others after her battle with melanoma.
Skin cancer is the most common kind of cancer and usually the most preventable.
Still, more than 9,000 people are diagnosed with skin cancer every day in the United States, melanoma being the most serious. The risk for it doubles with five or more sunburns.
Steph Mann, 35, takes Don't Fry Day seriously. After being treated for melanoma four years ago, she takes every precaution now.
"I do wear a hat now," Mann said. "When I do put SPF on, it's 50. It's not it's not 15 anymore. I will put 50 or 75 on them and always in the shade, never out."
Mann's melanoma, which her mom initially spotted on the back of her leg, was found early.
"They got to go deep enough to get it," Mann said, "and they have to go wide enough to get. But they got it all, which was good."
"The number one thing you want to do to protect yourself from the sun is to wear sunscreen regularly and consistently," Dr. Marla Diakow with Schweiger Dermatology Group said.
Doctors say when choosing a sunscreen look for at least SPF 30 or higher and a broad spectrum, which blocks UVA and UVB rays.
Mineral sunscreens sit on top of the skin and reflect the harmful rays away. They contain ingredients like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide.
"If you have more sensitive skin, those are known to be less irritating. Chemical sunscreens are equally safe," Diakow said. "Chemical sunscreens are sunscreens that have chemical filters that are actually absorbed into your skin. For these to be effective, you do want to apply them about 15 to 20 minutes before going outside."
Now, Mann gets a skin exam every six months to check for changes in her skin.
"This could definitely happen to anyone," Mann said.
She encourages others to see their dermatologist every year and have fun in the sun but carefully.
Dermatologists say the best sunscreen is the one you will use and remember to reapply every two hours and more often if you're in the water or sweating.
Consumer Reports has its new recommendations for the best sunscreens.
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