Should people with melanoma stay out of the sun at all times?

Last Modified: July 8, 2010

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Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts,"

Should people with melanoma stay out of the sun at all times?


Christopher J. Miller, MD, Assistant Professor of Dermatology at the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania, responds:

It is impossible for any of us to stay out of the sun all of the time. Therefore, we recommend a more practical approach: try to avoid the sun between 10 am and 4 pm and when you're out in the sun, take precautions to protect your skin. Find the shade, cover up with clothing, hats and sunglasses, and use sunscreen on exposed areas (preferably limited to head and neck and hands and forearms.

If you're out in the sun, be sure to avoid burning. One blistering sunburn doubles your risk for skin cancer. People who have had melanomas have an increased risk for another melanoma.

This question and answer was part of the OncoLink Brown Bag Chat Series: Sun Safety and Skin Cancer Prevention Webchat. View the entire transcript on sun safety.

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