6 Practical Ways to Promote Skin Cancer Awareness Month in the Workplace
Cancer is the be-all and end-all of the sport, and the only thing you can do is show up to the game with your jersey on.
- Colleen Hoover, American author.
According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, approximately 9,500 people are diagnosed daily with skin cancer in the United States. It is also worth pointing out that skin cancer is common among working individuals. Be it an outdoor job or an indoor job, the risk of developing skin cancer is equal.
This particular form of cancer is easily preventable. And early skin cancer detection increases the chances of getting cured. Hence, it is the need of the hour to raise awareness about skin cancer, especially in the workplace.
Are you someone who is looking for ways to promote skin cancer awareness month? If so, I have penned down an informative blog wherein you will learn how to raise awareness about skin cancer in the workplace. You will also learn some insightful tips about skin health that your employees should know and frequently asked questions about.
Why Are Employees Prone To Skin Cancer?
Skin cancer, like any other cancer, is the uncontrolled growth of skin cells.
The biggest danger related to skin cancer is prolonged sun exposure, which triggers abnormal skin cells to multiply uncontrollably. In this regard, employees with outdoor jobs are at risk as they are exposed to harmful UVA and UVB rays for extended periods.
Such individuals are seen to have developed life-threatening skin cancer like melanoma. It is because melanoma is more likely to spread further into the nearby tissues and cells rapidly.
Even people who have indoor jobs are at risk of skin cancer, including melanoma. In this case, the blue light emitting from the computer screen, also known as ultraviolet (UV) light, is believed to be the primary villain.
Artificial lights or blue light may radiate UVB rays, which is the root cause of non-melanoma cancer. It is scientifically known as basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma.
Also, practically penning it down, individuals who have indoor jobs tend to spend outdoors in the week off. This eventually makes them prone to melanoma.
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Skin Cancer Facts
- Frequent use of indoor tanning can lead to non-melanoma skin cancer. This is because indoor tanning facilities make use of UVB rays which are harmful to the skin in the long term.
- Frequent exposure to the sun may also cause non-melanoma skin cancer.
- The risk of melanoma cancer increases if a person suffers from sunburn more than 5 times.
- Excessive use of computers and mobiles makes the user prone to premature skin aging and different types of skin cancer.
- Indoor tanning equipment can radiate UV rays of 10 to 15 times higher intensity than the sun. This makes it clear why people should avoid tanning beds right away.
- Many outdoor workers refuse to practice protection from sun exposure. This is one of the reasons why they have a high chance of getting melanoma.
- Studies have shown that regular use of broad-spectrum sunscreen of 15 or higher SPF daily reduces the risk of skin cancer.
Experts suggest one should wear sunscreen even while indoors. Since UVA rays can penetrate glass windows easily, it increases the risk of skin cancer.
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How to Promote Skin Cancer Awareness In the Workplace?
Given the dangers of skin cancer, the need to raise awareness to safeguard the lives of employees and everyone else is paramount. With this thought in mind, the month of May is observed as skin cancer awareness month.
Here are practical ways to celebrate skin cancer awareness month in the workplace-
1. Organize an educative session
Sharing facts and the right knowledge is of utmost importance for preventing skin cancer on time. Get in touch with a medical board-certified health expert who will be able to educate the employees about skin cancer and how to practice sun protection.
2. Organize skin health check-ups
A physical health check-up is a known concept, but a skin health check-up is not. Hence, just like health campaigns are organized to promote employee wellness, HR can organize a thorough skin health check-up campaign.
Once the employees are educated regarding skin cancer, you can plan for a skin health check-up in the next day or two. Along with it, make a list of skin specialists in the city whom the employees can consult about preventing skin cancer.
Signs of skin cancer include a bleeding mole, an unusually large dark-colored spot on the skin, and a painful lesion on the skin that appears unnatural.
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3. Host a fundraising event
Hosting a fundraising event is a noble way to support the cause of skin cancer awareness. In addition to it, you can support individuals struggling with the condition financially and mentally. Moreover, in doing so, it will help strengthen your organization's brand identity.
4. Provide sun protection products in the workplace
Encouraging people to save themselves from excessive sun exposure is good. But providing them with the mandatory goodies for preventing skin cancer will serve the true purpose of promoting skin cancer awareness month at work.
Keep shelves inside the office premises stocked with sunscreens of SPF 15 or higher, and provide pamphlets instructing how to apply the product. Other goodies that are necessary to prevent skin cancer include wide-brim hats and wide sunglasses.
5. Encourage employees to wear sun protective outfit
Along with offering sunscreen lotions, motivate your employees to wear sun-protective clothes like long-sleeved shirts to the workspace. Clothes offer a great range of protection against harmful UVA and UVB rays, be it outdoors or indoors.
6. Reward and recognize your employees' efforts
Lastly, arrange a reward and recognition system to highlight your employees' efforts in practicing sun safety. You can do so in the form of monetary or non-monetary rewards.
Skin cancer is a commonly occurring fatal condition in the United States. Although nonprofit organizations are working towards the cause of skin cancer awareness, thousands of people are still getting diagnosed with this condition yearly.
Hence, the corporate world being interested in uplifting employee wellness, can try such practical ways to promote skin cancer awareness month. Such a step will be a boon for both the employees and society.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Is there a skin cancer awareness month?
Yes. May is celebrated as skin cancer awareness month on a global scale.
2. What are the 4 facts about skin cancer?
- Skin cancer is a commonly occurring condition in the United States; approximately 1 out of 5 Americans are diagnosed with different types of skin cancer.
- There are majorly 3 types of skin cancer - basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma.
- Applying a broad-spectrum sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher can help in preventing skin cancer.
- The blue light radiating from computer screens and mobile phones is as dangerous as the sun's rays.
3. How to prevent skin cancer?
Preventing skin cancer involves primarily avoiding the harmful effects of sun rays. One should apply and reapply sunscreen every 4 to 6 hours, wear a long sleeved shirt, wear a wide-brim hat when outside, and always wear fully covered sunglasses.
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