FREMONT, Neb. A warning about all the time you may be spending out in the sun this summer. It can lead to what is now the most common form of cancer in the United States.
There are some things you can and should be doing to protect yourself.
One in five: that's how many of us will develop skin cancer in our lifetime.
"Every time you're out in the sun you're risking skin cancer," said Methodist Fremont Health Nurse Practitioner Deb Baker.
She says if you don't protect yourself now you may suffer later.
"That one sunburn in your childhood is going to increase your risk by 50 percent of having a skin cancer in your lifetime," Baker said.
That's not the best news for Wanda Still. She soaked up plenty of sunshine when she was younger.
"When we were kids, sunscreen wasn't a big push," Still said.
"You laid out in the sun with baby oil and then of course you went to the tanning booth."
Today she knows better so she's doing better. Wanda is getting a skin cancer screening.
"These light brown spots that you're starting to see on your arm. Those are sun-damaged from your years of being out in the sun. So those spots are the ones I want you to watch out for," Baker told Wanda.
"I always advise new patients, get a baseline skin screen. We can do mole mapping. Where we can map out and take pictures of your current moles. So yearly when you come in we can see if there have been any changes to those moles because sometimes minor changes are the key to catching people early," Baker said.
Baker says we should get screened every year. We also need to be vigilant.
"Look at your moles. Have someone in your family look at your back," she recommended. "We see a lot of skin cancers on our back."
While monitoring moles is important, sunscreen is still the key. Baker recommends using it anytime you're out in the sun and reapply every few hours.
"Wear a brimmed hat so that we're covering our ears and our shoulders. Ears are a very common place that we see skin cancer," Baker said.
"We camp and just being outside walking," Still said.
Wanda still enjoys her fair share of sunshine.
"Am I diligent about the sunscreen? No. But I try to be better than I was."
A step in the right direction when it comes to sun safety.
We are all at risk for skin cancer. The good news is it is easily treated if it's caught early.That's why Deb Baker recommends getting a skin cancer screening by the age of 20 along with those monthly self-exams. If you have a family history of Melanoma a cancer screen is recommended sooner.
A few more reminders: make sure your sunscreen has a SPF of 30 or higher; stay out of the sun between high peak times - 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.; and when you're checking for moles watch for irregular shapes, colors and changes.