LANCASTER – The Antelope Valley remained in the grip of a heat wave Wednesday, with temperatures again climbing into triple-digit territory. Highs are expected to remain in the low 100s for Thursday and Friday before reverting to the 90s on Saturday, according to the National Weather Service.
Antelope Valley Hospital is offering the following tips for residents to protect themselves from the sun’s damaging rays:
- Use sunscreen. Sunscreen with an SPF (sun protection factor) of 15 or greater is one of your very best defenses against the sun. Your sunscreen should be water-resistant and reapplied after going in the water or excessively perspiring. Sunscreen should be applied 15 minutes before going out in the sun.
- Watch the time of day. The sun’s rays are most harmful between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Schedule outdoor visits for early morning and late afternoon. If you are enjoying a day at the lake, beach or pool, have the family rest under the umbrella midday.
- Cover up. Keep loose-fitting, long-sleeve clothing readily available during excursions in the sun. Don’t forget hats, hoods and sunglasses. Use sun umbrellas, if possible, and try to create plenty of shade when spending the day outdoors.
- Check all medicines for photosensitivity. Consult your physician or pharmacist as to whether a particular medicine is likely to produce a harmful reaction. Avoid tanning beds, booths and sun lamps, which can emit dangerous rays.
- Examine your skin regularly. Watch for any raised growths, itchy patches, non-healing sores, or changes in moles and freckles. Yearly check-ups by a dermatologist are recommended to keep on top of these types of skin changes. Your doctor will keep records of your skin conditions and note changes accordingly. What may look like an innocent freckle could easily be a form of skin cancer.
Free cancer screenings July 16
Antelope Valley Hospital and the City of Hope have teamed up to offer free skin cancer screenings to the community on Saturday, July 16, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the City of Hope Community Resource Center, located at 44151 15th Street West in Lancaster.
Doctors may examine arms, legs and above the chest or other areas that are of concern to participants. The screening is painless and takes only a few minutes, according to health officials.
In addition to the free screenings, there will be a bounce house for kids, food trucks and educational presentations by City of Hope physicians Dr. Ji Kim, a radiation oncologist, and Dr. Hans Schoellhammer, a surgical oncologist.
“Skin cancer is the most common cancer, with one in five Americans developing it over the course of their lifetime,” said Dr. Kim. “Fortunately many skin cancers can be cured if they are detected and treated early.”