Glen Cove is doing its part to protect its residents and visitors from skin cancer. Glen Cove Hospital has collaborated with the city to install sunscreen dispensers at several recreational facilities in the city, including Morgan Park, Pryibil and Crescent beaches, Stanco Park & Golf Course, and John Maccarone City Stadium.
“We are dedicated to the health and well-being of our communities,” Mayor Pam Panzenbeck said on July 27 at Morgan Park. “This sunscreen initiative is a vital step in keeping our skin protected and minimizing the risk of skin cancer.”
Dr. Brad Sherman, medical director and chair of the Department of Medicine at the hospital, joined Panzenbeck and summer campers from the Glen Cove Youth Bureau to discuss the advantages of using sunscreen regularly.
“Sometimes skin cancer can be really subtle,” he said. “If you have darker skin, for example, it’s very common to not necessarily see simple skin cancer cells like melanoma. Something that looks unusual in your skin that wasn’t there before, that looks discolored or an asymmetry, that’s something to be concerned with.”
The three main types of skin cancer are basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma. Melanoma, the most serious, spreads quickly and can be fatal — and it is not unusual in teenagers and young adults.
It’s important to start skin protection at a young age, by wearing a hat and long sleeves, when possible, and limiting exposure to direct sunlight between 10 a.m. and and 2 p.m., when the sun’s rays are most dangerous.
Keber said it’s important to reapply sunscreen every 45 to 60 minutes, particularly if you’ve gone swimming or are sweating. And sunscreen’s SPF, or sun protection factor, is also important, to a point.
“Once you go past 30 SPF, you probably don’t get much more prevention.” Keber said. “It’s really more about the reapplication rather than the level of SPF once you start to get up into those bigger numbers, so those higher grades aren’t worth the extra money.”
The hope was that the presentation at Morgan Park made an impression on the children, and that they will be more aware of how to protect themselves. “We want to make it a little fun, so that it’s part of what they do,” Sherman said. “As beautiful and fun as it is to be outside on a summer day, it can be dangerous to be exposed to the sun’s rays without having some protection.”