Overseen by organizations including the American Academy of Dermatology, the American Association for Cancer Research, and the Skin Cancer Foundation, the month of May marks annual Skin Cancer Awareness Month in the United States. A cancer specialist certified in medical oncology through the American Board of Internal Medicine, Dr. Eugenio Galindo reveals more about the awareness initiative.
“In the United States, most cases of melanoma—the deadliest form of skin cancer—can be attributed to UV or ultraviolet exposure,” reveals Dr. Galindo, an experienced oncology specialist diligently serving Texas’ Rio Grande Valley, including Hidalgo, Cameron, Willacy, and Starr counties, for close to three decades.
Also promoted by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Cancer Prevention and Control department, Skin Cancer Awareness Month—or Melanoma and Skin Cancer Awareness Month—is, in part, intended to highlight the incredible importance of sun protection.
“UV exposure remains the most preventable risk factor for skin cancer,” explains Dr. Galindo. “Throughout May,” he continues, “the American Academy of Dermatology is asking the public, ‘Do you use protection?’ and is encouraging everyone to practice what the organization calls ‘safe sun’ every time they’re outdoors.”
Indeed, the American Academy of Dermatology advises—when outdoors during the daytime in bright, hot, or even just clear weather—wearing suitably protective clothing, seeking shade where possible, and applying a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with SPF 30+ to reduce the risk of developing skin cancer. “Everyone needs to use sun protection,” adds Dr. Galindo, “no matter what their age, gender, or race.”
Skin Cancer Awareness Month also exists to promote skin cancer screening, a better understanding of the types of skin cancer, skin cancer detection, other forms of prevention, the dangers of indoor tanning, and to share skin cancer stories.
Several different forms of skin cancer exist, including melanoma, squamous cell skin cancer, and basal cell skin cancer. “With more than 5 million skin cancer cases diagnosed in the United States every year, it’s the most common form of cancer in the country,” Dr. Galindo explains.
“Thankfully, however, it’s also one of the most preventable forms of the disease,” he adds, wrapping up, “which is why it’s vital that we promote initiatives such as Skin Cancer Awareness Month to continue to highlight the risks, to change potentially dangerous behaviors, and to save lives in the process.”
Dr. Eugenio Galindo is an experienced physician specializing in hematology and oncology. Certified in medical oncology through the American Board of Internal Medicine, Dr. Galindo has served in the Rio Grande Valley for almost 30 years. The medical director for McAllen Oncology, he completed his fellowship at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and is an active participant in bringing the latest in cancer treatment and screening to the southernmost tip of South Texas. Fluent in English and Spanish, Dr. Galindo has also authored several influential medical publications on the subject of oncology.