For Immediate Release
May 28, 2010

KDHE Office of Communications
communications@kdheks.gov, 785-296-0461

May 28 is Don't Fry Day

The National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention has declared Friday, May 28 as Don’t Fry Day. This is the start of Memorial Day weekend when many people traditionally begin spending more time outdoors.  This campaign seeks to advance awareness of skin cancer prevention.

“We want everyone to have a safe and enjoyable summer,” said Roderick Bremby, Secretary of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE). “That includes taking precautions to lower your risk of skin cancer – the most common form of cancer in the U.S.”

One in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime.  More than one million new cases of skin cancer will be diagnosed in the United States this year, including more than 100,000 cases of melanoma. 

Melanoma is the most dangerous form of skin cancer, especially among young people. One American dies of melanoma almost every hour.  In Kansas, as many as 12,000 new cases of skin cancer are diagnosed each year, including more than 550 cases of melanoma. Nearly 100 deaths in Kansas are due to the disease annually.

“The best way to prevent skin cancer is to protect yourself from the sun,” said Dr. Jason Eberhart-Phillips, State Health Officer and Director of Health for KDHE. “Up to 90 percent of melanomas are caused by exposure to ultraviolet light or sunlight and could be prevented if children, adolescents and adults were protected from ultraviolet radiation.” 

KDHE and the National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention offer the below reminders on how to enjoy the outdoors safely.

What You Can Do to Be Safe in the Sun:

  1. Do Not Burn
    Overexposure to the sun is the most preventable risk factor for skin cancer.
  2. Avoid Sun Tanning and Tanning Beds
    Ultraviolet (UV) light from tanning beds and the sun causes skin cancer and wrinkling. If you want to look like you’ve been in the sun, use a sunless self-tanning product instead.
  3. Cover Up
    Wear protective clothing, such as a long-sleeved shirt, pants, a wide-brimmed hat, and sunglasses, where possible.
  4. Seek Shade/Use Umbrellas
    Seek shade when appropriate.  Remember that the sun’s UV rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
  5. Generously Apply Sunscreen
    Generously apply sunscreen to all exposed skin using a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of at least 15 that provides broad-spectrum protection from both UVA and UVB rays. Reapply every two hours, even on cloudy days, and after swimming or sweating.
  6. Use Extra Caution Near Water, Snow and Sand
    Water, snow and sand reflect the damaging rays of the sun, which can increase your chance of sunburn.
  7. Check the UV Index
    The UV Index provides important information to help you plan your outdoor activities in ways that prevent overexposure to the sun. Developed by the National Weather Service (NWS) and EPA, you can find the UV Index for your area online at: www.epa.gov/sunwise/uvindex.html.
  8. Get Vitamin D Safely
    Get vitamin D safely through a diet that includes vitamin supplements and foods fortified with vitamin D. Don’t seek the sun or indoor tanning.
More information is available at www.skincancerprevention.org. For Kansas cancer information and resources, visit www.cancerkansas.org.