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Avoiding Skin Cancer Caused by Sun Exposure

Cotney Avoiding Skin Cancer
February 22, 2022 at 6:00 a.m.

By Cotney Attorneys & Consultants. 

Tips for roofers to avoid skin cancer and warning signs to look for. 

Roofers are as likely as anyone on earth to develop skin cancer due to sun exposure. While light sun exposure can help us absorb essential vitamin D, many of the sun’s effects are dangerous. 

There are several skin conditions related to excessive exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light or rays and skin cancer is among the most worrisome. 

Skin cancer is the nation’s most prevalent type of cancer and UV rays are the number one cause. Unfortunately, UV light from tanning beds is just as dangerous. There are three types of skin cancer: basal cell carcinoma; squamous cell carcinoma; and the worst one, melanoma. Fortunately, basal cell and squamous cell make up 95% of skin cancers. 

Known as non-melanoma skin cancers, basal cell and squamous cell cancers are highly curable when treated early. Melanoma made up of abnormal skin pigment cells, is the most dangerous. It accounts for 75% of all skin cancer deaths. 

Cumulative exposure to the sun causes basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas. So, what you did as a teenager, basking in the sun all summer, can lead to these carcinomas later in life. 

Melanoma happens after repeated exposure to the sun. People with light skin or those who burn easily are most likely to get melanoma. Therefore, it is important to protect yourself and your children from sunburn, which can lead to skin cancer. 

Tips to avoid skin cancer 

  • Wear sunscreen to protect from UV rays, even while driving or riding in a car. Reapply sunscreen frequently and always use SPF 30 or higher to protect from UVB rays. Use sunscreen containing zinc oxide to protect you from UVA rays. 

  • Most sun exposure occurs when we are children. Remember that when determining how to protect your family from the sun’s harmful rays. 

  • Roofers constantly exposed to the sun’s dangerous rays should take extra precautions, such as wearing a hat, covering the neck, wearing long-sleeved shirts and using sunscreen daily. 

  • Check your body periodically for any irregular moles or other markings. Changes in the color or shape of existing moles may indicate skin cancer. 

Warning signs 

In addition to changing shapes and colors on moles, there are other warning signs for skin cancer, including redness or swelling beyond a mole’s border. Other signs include itching, pain and tenderness that will not go away, or goes away, then comes back. 

Any appearance of a mole that is oozing, bleeding or scaly or the appearance of a bump can also be warning signs for skin cancer. The most common occurrences are on the face, neck, ears, hands, chest, back and legs. 

Protect yourself from skin cancer by always using sunscreen and getting regular examinations by a dermatologist. Anyone at high risk of skin cancer should be screened every six months. 

A full-body scan can find spots that may indicate skin cancer. The doctor will typically take a biopsy of the area then send it to a lab to determine if there is skin cancer present in any form. Removing skin cancer often requires only minor outpatient surgery. 

About Trent Cotney   

Trent Cotney is an advocate for the roofing industry, General Counsel of the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) and several other industry associations. For more information, contact the author at 866.303.5868 or go to www.cotneycl.com.  

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.

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