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Summer sun brings skin cancer risk

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POSTED: May 27, 2009 11:47 a.m.
Photo by Alena Parker/

Chris Blasy answers Peggy McGee's question during an informational talk about skin cancer May 15 for National Skin Cancer Awareness Month.

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Clouds will eventually roll away and as the mercury rises, so may the risk of skin cancer.
Dr. Chris Blasy, a Liberty Regional Medical Center staff physician, debunked some common myths about skin cancer during a talk May 15 and clarify the sun’s harsh realities.
“We are in the Sunbelt down here,” Blasy said. “I mean, where did the name redneck come from? Spending too many hours in the sun.”
About 20 residents had a free lunch and learned how ultraviolet rays penetrate deep in the skin, causing mutations. Cancer happens when the cells don’t stop growing.
“So the sun, is it all bad? No, absolutely not,” Blasy said, adding that some sunshine is needed to be stay healthy.
He just hoped to get people to think twice before laying out on the beach without end or jumping in a tanning bed.
Besides skin damage, premature aging comes from chasing after “that beautiful bronze that everyone’s looking for,” according to Blasy. He said there is no such thing as a safe way to tan.
“It never will be. It never is,” Blasy said. “People sit in there with no protection whatsoever.”
But skin cancer is preventable, just by grabbing a hat or slopping on sunscreen, “our personal ozone layer,” according to Blasy.
“However, it does wear off so you do have to reapply,” he said.
“The thing I want you to understand, regardless of skin color, no one is immune or not at risk to skin cancer,” Blasy said.
“Anybody can get skin cancer.”
The American Cancer Society sponsored the learning session for National Skin Cancer Awareness Month.
 

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