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STORM SEASON
Important Note:

June through November our agency may become prohibited from binding coverage should a “Tropical Disturbance” enter the Gulf of Mexico or Caribbean Sea.

In these cases we may be unable to bind new coverage quoted in open proposals until the storm leaves our area and our binding authority has been restored.

Please arrange your coverage protection early to avoid this type of delay. While we regret any inconvenience, the carriers impose these restrictions on all agencies.

Skin Cancer Facts Everyone Should Know

 

You know you should stay out of the sun between the hours of 10 am and 2 pm. You know you should wear sunscreen whenever you go outside—whether it’s July or January. You know that you should avoid tanning beds and opt for a bottle of bronzer if you can’t live without a golden glow. But do you do these things? If you want to avoid skin cancer, you really should. It’s the most common form of cancer in the U.S., with more than 2 million people diagnosed every year according to the Skin Cancer Foundation.

While one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in the course of their lifetime, brushing up on a few facts may help you reduce your chance of becoming one of them.

1. Previous sun exposure contributes to skin cancer risk.

You may put on sunscreen religiously now, but it takes only five blistering sunburns between the ages of 15 and 20 to increase your risk of developing melanoma—the deadliest form of skin cancer—by 80 percent. Previous sunburns also increase your risks of slow-growing skin cancers such as basal and squamous cell carcinomas. Make sure you schedule an annual skin cancer screening with your primary care physician or a dermatologist every year.

2. Skin cancer is not just a women’s disease.

While the National Cancer Institute reports that 50 percent of Americans over the age of 65 will develop at least one form of skin cancer, the rate of melanoma in men in this age group has risen more than that of any other over the past 40 years. It can take years for skin cancers to develop, but it’s never too late to reduce your risk. Men as well as women should always wear sunscreen, protective clothing and a hat when spending time outdoors.

3. Alcohol can increase your skin cancer risk.

A study published in the British Journal of Dermatology found that drinking more than one pint of beer of glass of wine per day increased the risk of developing melanoma by 20 percent. Researchers speculate that this is because alcohol consumption increases one’s susceptibility to sunburn by reducing the skin’s immune response to damaging UV radiation.

4. Skin cancer can develop anywhere.

Many melanomas and other skin cancers form in sneaky spots like the soles of your feet or the backs of your ankles and legs where they are harder to see. If you live alone and don’t have a significant other to help you check your skin regularly, you’re at increased risk for missing the signs of skin cancer—like suspicious moles—before they become significant. This is another reason you should schedule that appointment with your doctor.

5. There are new treatment options for skin cancer.

Your only choices used to be surgery, radiation or chemotherapy. However, new, targeted therapies—including oral medications that attack cancer cells— are available. They tend to have fewer side effects than the traditional treatments. Since 2010, the Food and Drug Administration has approved four new drugs for the treatment of melanoma as well as two immunotherapy drugs according to AARP.