May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month: Atrium Health Navicent Urges Sun Safety

May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month: Atrium Health Navicent Urges Sun Safety

In observance of Skin Cancer Awareness Month, Atrium Health Navicent doctors remind the public to practice sun safety during summer activities. Ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun, tanning beds, and sunlamps can lead to skin cancer, as UV rays damage skin cells.

According to the CDC, skin cancer is the most common cancer in the U.S., with 6.1 million adults treated annually. The American Academy of Dermatology states that one in five people will develop skin cancer in their lifetime. In Georgia, 3,470 people are expected to develop skin cancer in 2024, resulting in 190 deaths, per the American Cancer Society.

“The leading risk for skin cancer is sun exposure,” said Dr. Paul Dale, chief of surgical oncology at Atrium Health Navicent. “Use sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or more and apply it to your children as well.”

Preventative Steps to Protect Skin from UV Exposure:

  • Stay in the shade under an umbrella, tree, or other shelter.
  • Use sunscreen and wear protective clothing. Apply full-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher on all exposed skin, reapplying every two hours and after swimming or sweating. For infants under 6 months, dress them in protective clothing and keep them in the shade.
  • Wear a hat with a brim that shades your face, ears, and neck. Protect ears and neck if wearing a baseball cap.
  • Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from UV rays. Choose sunglasses that block both UVA and UVB rays.

Seeing a doctor for skin concerns is crucial. “If you’re concerned about a mole or another spot on your skin, don’t hesitate to see your primary care doctor or dermatologist,” said Dr. Dale. Early detection is key for effective treatment.

Advanced Testing and Care at Atrium Health Navicent Peyton Anderson Cancer Center:

  • Castle testing analyzes the genetic makeup of skin cancers.
  • Signatera testing detects tumor-specific DNA in blood, identifying recurrences months earlier than traditional scans.

Atrium Health Navicent Peyton Anderson Cancer Center offers comprehensive care, accredited by the Commission on Cancer with Commendation – Gold Level.

For more information, call 478-633-3000 or visit and click “Find A Doctor.”