- Stony Brook Long Island Children's Hospital is joining the National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention in designating May 27 as "Don't Fry Day." The day is a reminder to everyone to protect their skin as the weekend kicks off the traditional summer season. Sun safe practices are a simple and effective way to help prevent skin cancer, the most common form of cancer in the United States that strikes one in five Americans.
"During the warm and sunny weather, we all want to get outside to barbecue or go to the beach, but we must take that additional step to protect ourselves from the sun by applying sunscreen, proper clothing and other measures, especially for children," says Maribeth Bambino Chitkara
, M.D., Assistant Professor of Clinical Pediatrics and Pediatric Hospitalist, Stony Brook Long Island Children's Hospital.
"If a child has one or more blistering burns before age 18, that child has a greatly increased risk of developing any form of skin cancer as an adult, including melanoma, the most dangerous and deadly form of skin cancer," Dr. Chitkara emphasizes.
Dr. Chitkara is one of two pediatricians on the National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention. She is also President and Founder of The Melissa K. Bambino Melanoma Foundation. The foundation is named in honor of Dr. Chitkara's sister, Melissa, who died at the age of 29 from metastatic melanoma.
According to Council, the incidence of melanoma, the second most common form of cancer in young adults ages 15 to 29, continues to rise significantly and at a faster rate than any of the seven most common cancers. "Don't Fry Day" is a reminder that constant protection against overexposure from ultraviolet (UV) rays of the sun is a powerful skin cancer preventive measure.
Dr. Chitkara and fellow medical specialists on the Council recommend the following sun safety action steps: avoid sun burning, intentional tanning, and using tanning beds; apply sunscreen generously; wear sun-protective clothing, including a wide-brimmed hat, and sunglasses; seek shade; use extra caution near water, sand (and snow in winter); and get vitamin D safely through food and vitamin D supplements.
The National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention is the united voice of 45 organizations, associations, and agencies dedicated to reducing skin cancer morbidity and mortality in the United States.