The most important way to prevent melanoma is avoiding excessive sun exposure. Prevention must begin in childhood, because most people get about 80 percent of their lifetime sun exposure before age 18.
Keep these facts about sun exposure in mind:
- Regular, day-to-day exposure is usually experienced by outdoor workers and individuals who spend lots of time in outdoor activities over the course of many years.
- Rare periods of intense exposure are often experienced by people who stay indoors most of the time and then sun themselves daily for a week or so while on vacation.
Practical prevention measures can help reduce the chances of developing skin cancer.