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Knox County Hospital District
KNOX CITY – Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The government agency reports that OVER 4.3 million people are treated for skin cancer each year. While it is dangerous, there are many ways you can prevent this potentially deadly disease.
Harmful UV rays pose a threat year-round,” explained Dr. Laura Hart, a family physician in Knox City. “While we often talk about skin cancer more during the summer months, when outdoors and exposed to the sun, always use sunblock. Also, don’t forget about your children. Make sure you apply sunblock to children before you let them outdoors to play. And, it is best to use SPF 30 or higher.”
To further protect yourself from the sun’s harmful rays, Dr. Hart recommends staying out of the sun between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m., when the sun is the strongest. She also says that when outdoors, you should seek shade as much as possible and wear light-colored cotton clothing, a hat, and sunglasses.
Individuals underestimate how the heat can affect their health. According to Dr. Hart, long exposure to the sun and extensive activities in the heat are frequent causes of heat exhaustion. Heat exhaustion is a common reason why patients come to the emergency department at Knox County Hospital during the summer.
Sweating is a natural method your body uses to cool internal temperatures. Although the process brings your body temperature down, it also results in the loss of large amounts of body fluids, leading to dehydration.
Consuming water or sports drinks can help combat exhaustion and keep the body hydrated. People should limit beverages such as soft drinks, coffee, and alcohol, all of which can cause the body to excrete extra fluids and become dehydrated more quickly.
“Heat exhaustion can sneak up on you and take a toll on your body,” Dr. Hart added. “I always encourage patients to be mindful of your body, taking note of symptoms, and simply practicing caution when outdoors.”
Common symptoms of heat exhaustion include dizziness, nausea, heavy sweating, weak or rapid pulse, headache, and weakness or fatigue. If you find yourself feeling any symptoms of heat exhaustion while outdoors, it is critical that you get out of the heat immediately and rest.
The heat is no joke this summer, and the fall cool-down is still a couple of months away. Whether you are planning to spend some time by the pool or out tending to the yard, protecting yourself and loved ones from the strong ultraviolet (UV) rays this summer should be a top priority.
“It is important that we all stay active year-round, but we need to be smart about how we do it,” Dr. Hart added. “We encourage you to plan your outdoor activities appropriately and take frequent breaks during the summer. Heat is tough on your body, so take all the precautions you need to stay healthy.”