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Skin Cancer

A man and woman wearing hats and sunglasses on a beach.

Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States. Most cases of melanoma, the deadliest kind of skin cancer, are caused by exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light.

To lower your skin cancer risk, protect your skin from the sun and avoid indoor tanning. CDC recommends these easy options—

  • Stay in the shade, especially during midday hours.
  • Wear clothing that covers your arms and legs.
  • Wear sunglasses that block both UVA and UVB rays.
  • Use sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher and both UVA and UVB protection.
  • Avoid indoor tanning.

Next: Basic Information



Featured Resources

Vital Signs: Communities play a vital role in preventing skin cancer Community programs could prevent about 21,000 melanoma skin cancers and save about $250 million in treatment costs each year. Learn how.

Protect Your Family and Yourself from Skin Cancer fact sheet Our skin cancer prevention fact sheets list strategies for parents, teachers, employers, and parks and recreation staff.

“Protect All the Skin You’re In” Infographic A new CDC study found that most Americans don't use sunscreen regularly. This infographic lists sun protection strategies that work.

A photo of Sharon McKenna enjoying a sunny day“I learned the hard way: a tan is not a sign of health,” writes melanoma survivor Sharon McKenna in this blog post.

Photo of a mother and a daughter wearing a hat.In this session of Grand Rounds, experts discuss how we can help people protect their skin and their lives while enjoying the outdoors.

Cover image of The Surgeon General's Call to Action to Prevent Skin CancerDespite efforts to address risk factors, skin cancer rates have continued to increase. The The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Prevent Skin Cancer outlines actions everyone can take to reverse this alarming trend.

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