As summer approaches, local health experts warn about the dangers of UV rays

Local News

PEORIA-Ill.–The sun is coming out, and with it comes the threat of UV rays. 

Dr. Carl Soderstrom from the Soderstrom Skin Institute says the sooner you get screened, the better chance of survival.

“Early prevention is the cure for these diseases, and of course we always say if you can spot it, you can stop it,” said Soderstrom.

“We have unfortunately had some patients that have come to us in the last year who have come to us late, their disease has spread, and they have passed away due to the fact that they didn’t come in early enough,” Soderstrom said.

Dr. Soderstrom says he is shocked at the number of skin cancer cases he has seen in 2019.

“We saw a 30% increase last year over the year before, and the increases are continuing this year over last year,” Soderstrom said.

And even on a very cloudy day the UV rays can be very strong.  I have a card here, from the American Cancer Society, a UV indicator, that shows how strong the UV rays are, and as you can see, it’s starting to get some color to it showing that the UV rays are very high.  And when I take my thumb away, look how quickly color comes to the card.  They also have wrist bands for children that you can take out if you go to the beach or outside to show how strong and harmful the UV rays can be.

Audrey Williams of the American Cancer Society says that skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in America, but noticing signs and symptoms like enlarged moles or lesions can save your life.

“It is damaging over the years, so as you get older, the more succeptible you are to develop skin cancer.  The most important thing is to know your body, check your body, be talking with a doctor, get regular skin cancer screenings, especially as you get older,” Williams said.

The Soderstrom Skin Institute is offering a free skin cancer screening Saturday, May 18 from 8 a.m. to noon.

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