About Skin Cancer

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. There are three major types of skin cancer. The names of the three types come from the type of skin cell in which they begin: basal cell carcinoma; squamous cell carcinoma; and melanoma. Basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma can be cured if caught early and properly treated. Melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, can have a high cure rate if it is detected early.

What You Should Do

Protect Yourself

  • Apply sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 30 or more with both UVA and UVB protection ("broad spectrum" sunscreen). Make sure to put it on all areas of skin exposed to the sun, including ears, neck, nose, eyelids, fingers and toes, and reapply every two hours.
  • Use water-resistant sunscreen while swimming, boating or exercising;
  • Seek shade, especially when the sun rays are the strongest between 10 AM and 2 PM;
  • Wear protective clothing;
  • Wear a hat with a wide brim to shade the face, head, ears, and neck;
  • Wear wrap-around sunglasses with UV protection where possible;
  • Use caution near water, sand and snow because they reflect and intensify the rays of the sun and can increase your chances of sunburn;
  • Avoid indoor tanning.

Get Screened

  • Talk with your primary care provider about seeing a dermatologist and getting screened for skin cancer, especially if you have a family history of it.
  • Get your kids screened. Skin cancer is a growing concern for children, especially among adolescents. Talk with your child's pediatrician about skin cancer screening.
  • If you work outdoors, you should be screened annually by a dermatologist.

What We Are Doing

Sponsoring Screenings

  • Promoting Sun Smarts , a free skin cancer screening event offered annually at Rhode Island beaches along with The Partnership to Reduce Cancer in Rhode Island.
  • Teaming up with the Pawtucket Red Sox and a local attorney, we are providing free sunscreen and prevention education to all fans at McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket.
  • Providing "Play it safe - use sunscreen!" banner to local parks and recreation programs.