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Often touted as the unofficial start of summer, Memorial Day is seen as a time for gathering with friends and family, cooking out, and hitting the beach. Most importantly, it is a time to remember the men and women who so bravely gave their lives in the line of duty serving in our military at home and abroad. At Andrus & Associates we are so thankful for our military and the protections and freedoms they allow all Americans the ability to enjoy.

Recent studies have shown that our military men and women are at increased risk to develop melanoma and other non-melanoma skin cancers. This is especially true for those who have served in tropical and desert environments. This is due in large part to the prolonged exposure to the sun’s harmful UV rays without proper protection. While it may be difficult for them to protect their skin properly while deployed with protective clothing or sunscreen, they can help decrease their risks of serious complications by detecting skin cancer early.

Skin self-exams are a great way to start the detection process because no one knows your body better than you. If you see something that looks changed or new, it’s best to have it checked by a professional. Annual skin exams with your dermatologist can also help decrease your risk of complications from skin cancer. Early detection offers the best chance for curative treatment. While melanoma is known for being deadly, any type of skin cancer, if left untreated, can lead to death.

As you head out to the beach this weekend or cook out with friends remember to protect yourself against the sun’s harmful rays. The best way to do this is wear protective clothing, including hats, UV-blocking sunglasses, and long sleeves, and to apply sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher often. If you plan on swimming or will be outdoors for extended periods of time and will be sweating be sure to use a waterproof variety to get the best protection.

At Andrus & Associates we are glad to offer complimentary skin cancer checks every Thursday afternoon in limited appointment slots. Be sure to call today to schedule your complimentary skin check with one of our physicians. Thank you for allowing us to participate in the care of your skin.

We hope everyone has a happy and safe Memorial Day!

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