Sun safety highlighted at workshops in Pierce County

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by TERESA YUAN / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @TeresaYuan

KING5.com

Posted on June 17, 2013 at 7:36 AM

After months of clouds and rain, people in the Northwest can't wait to enjoy the sunshine. As the days get sunnier, it is important that they practice sun safety.

On Monday, Pierce County will hold several sun damage and sun protection workshops.

“They say one severe sun burn or blistering sunburn can double your risk of skin cancer so it is significant. People really should try protecting their kids and yourself if you have fair skin or freckles. It makes a difference,” said Dr. Brenda Kodama, a dermatologist with Cascade Eye and Skin Centers.

Dr. Kodama says around 70,000 to 80,000 cases of melanoma -- the most dangerous skin cancer -- are reported in U.S. every year. About 10,000 result in death.

At Monday’s workshop, a dermatologist will explain different types of skin cancers and skin damage, as well as what people should look for, like a change in moles or sores that aren't healing.

Dermatologists urge people to protect themselves with SPF 30 sunscreen even on a cloudy day. Plus, they recommend self-exams, especially for fair-skinned people or have freckles.

"It’s so important if you have your partner or a family member who can check behind your ears, back of the neck, and sometimes even the scalp. We have diagnosed skin cancer in the scalp as well," said Dr. Kodama. "I tell my patients once a month they should do a full skin exam."

The workshop will be offered four different locations:

June 17
Pierce County Annex Main Meeting Room, 2401 South 35th Street in Tacoma
12:10 to 12:50 p.m.

June 17
Summit Branch Library, 5107 112th Street East in Tacoma
6:30 to 7:30 p.m.

June 19
County-City Building Rainier Conference Room, 930 Tacoma Avenue South, 7th Floor in Tacoma
12:10 to 12:50 p.m.

June 19
Sound View Building, 3611 South D Street in Tacoma
6:30 to 7:30 p.m.

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