KMSB "Fox-11 Forum," 7:30 AM, & KTTU "In Focus," 10:30 AM, 5/30/10.

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By Bryce Potter By Bryce Potter

Host Bob Lee interviews Dr. James E. Sligh, associate professor of medicine at The University of Arizona, chief of the dermatology section, associate director of the Skin Cancer Institute at the Arizona Cancer Center. The number of new cases of non-melanoma skin cancer continues to increase each year. If found early, this type of skin cancer usually isn't deadly. 

Sligh says the sun’s ultraviolet rays contribute to skin cancer. He says these rays are most powerful mid-morning to late afternoon. He says if you must spend some extended time in the sun, wear a hat and appropriate clothing to cover most skin areas. Appropriate sun screen should also be used, he says, with an SPF of at least 15. He says it’s best to apply it liberally at least 15 minutes prior to going out in the sun. 
 
Sligh says there are three types of skin cancer. Basal cell carcinoma is the most common and it is likely that your doctor can cure it. He says Squamous cell carcinoma if detected early, can be cured. Melanoma, he says, is the worst, and can result in death if not caught early. He says people should check their skin each month and see a dermatologist if any mole or skin spot looks abnormal. He says people with fair skin and blonde or red hair and blue eyes are at increased risk. 
 
Sligh says if there is a family history of melanoma, you could get it even if you've never been out in the sun. He says if you experienced several blistering sunburns as a child or if you burn before you tan, you are also at increased risk for skin cancer. May is national Skin Cancer Awareness Month.