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Women Veterans Health Care

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Health Awareness Campaigns: Skin Cancer Prevention

Women Veterans Health Care has developed materials to raise awareness of skin cancer and ways to prevent it.

Thumbnail of skin cancer awareness poster: Remember your protective gear. Prevent skin cancer

Skin Cancer Prevention Poster
(933 KB, PDF)
Number: IB 10-327
Dimensions: 8.5" x 11"

Skin Cancer Prevention Poster
(2,517 KB, PDF)
Number: IB 10-328
Dimensions: 11" x 17"


About Skin Cancer

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),* skin cancer is the leading form of cancer in the United States. The two most common types* are basal cell and squamous cell cancer. Less common, but more deadly, is melanoma, which forms in darker parts of the skin, such as moles. Nearly 24,000 women are diagnosed with melanoma each year, and 3,000 of those cases are fatal. The rate at which young women develop melanoma* has more than doubled in the past 30 years.

Risk Factors

Exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun is a risk factor for skin cancer. To reduce exposure, use sunscreen with an SPF 15 or higher, wear clothing to protect exposed skin, cover up with a wide-brimmed hat, wear sunglasses that block UVA and UVB rays, and seek shade, especially between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. when the sun’s rays are strongest. Tanning beds also emit UV radiation and are best avoided.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends* clinicians be alert for skin abnormalities when conducting physical examinations for other purposes. Also, if skin changes are noticed, they should be evaluated by a clinician.

While anyone can develop skin cancer, fair-skinned people are at greater risk. Moles that have changed shape, size, or color are of particular concern, as this is often the first sign of melanoma.*

About Women Veterans

Women are now the fastest growing subgroup of U.S. Veterans. The number of Women Veterans is expected to increase dramatically in the next 10 years, and VA health care is in high demand by the Women Veterans of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. The Department of Veterans Affairs understands the health care needs of Women Veterans and is committed to meeting these needs. Women Veterans served and they deserve the best quality care. Learn more about VA health care services for women Veterans.

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*By clicking on these links, you will leave the Department of Veterans Affairs Web site.