Tips to stay safe in the sun. Letters and numbers that make protecting yourself from the suns harmful rays easy on the Suncoast

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Posted: Monday, July 8, 2013 10:27 am | Updated: 10:55 am, Mon Jul 8, 2013.

According to the American Cancer Society, more than 3.5 million Americans will be diagnosed with skin cancer in 2013, the vast majority as a result of sun overexposure which is especially alarming for those living in the Sunshine State.

"Contrary to popular belief, skin cancer can affect anyone, regardless of age, gender and ethnicity,” said John M. Koval, M.D., of Tampa Bay Radiation Oncology. “You can never have too many reminders to protect yourself from the risks of skin cancer."

As with many cancers, the risk of developing skin cancer can be lowered by taking simple precautions and knowing how to detect it at an early stage.

These letters and numbers may help to remind you how to best protect yourself from the sun.

* 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Between these hours you should avoid the sun.

* 15 is the he lowest SPF you should select to protect your skin.

* UVA and UVB are the ypes of rays your sunscreen should protect against.

* 1 the number of ounces you must apply to ensure that you get the full SPF of a sunscreen.

* D is a vitamin synthesized by sun exposure that is also available in dietary supplements and in foods such as salmon and eggs, as well as enriched milk and orange juice.

* 2 is the maximum number of hours you should go without reapplying sunscreen if you are out in the sun.

* 0 is the number of times you can safely tan indoors.

* A, B, C, D are ways to detect suspicious moles, they stand for asymmetry, border, color and diameter.

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