Live SunSmart Foundation Offers Sun Safety Tips

Teri Festa, Executive Director of the Live SunSmart Foundation, an organization that promotes healthy “fun in the sun,” provides practical tips to keep people safe and prevent skin cancer.

10/8/16 #519






"Welcome back to Life and Living. More than 1,000,000 cases of skin cancer are diagnosed in the U.S. each year, but the good news is that Melanoma is 99% curable if caught early. Joining me right now is Teri Festa, Executive Director of the Live SunSmart foundation. Welcome to the program. Thank you for having me. What is the Live SunSmart foundation? What is the mission? Our mission is to have everybody, no matter their age, gender,color, ethnicity to live safely with the sun and to educate them on how to do so. This Organization was formerly the Ray Festa.. Ray Festa Melanoma Foundation named after my father who died in 1992 of skin cancer. So we started the foundation right after his death and for a long time we just did nice things for nice people but then in 2006, we decided to do something that was more targeted and would have a direct impact. So we chose to find a cure for skin cancer... for melanoma and after researching and speaking with a lot of doctors, they said "really, the cure for melanoma is to not get melanoma" Right. It's such a highly preventable disease. With the right behavior changes, that is really much more effective than trying to find the cure for melanoma. Prevention. Prevention and early detection is really much more effective. What are the things that we need to do to prevent melanoma? We need to cover up. And what does that mean? It means to wear sunscreen, to wear a hat, long sleeves if you can. Sun glasses and lip balm. Okay, well I'm talking 80 degrees in the summer outside playing with the kids in the park. What do I do? Put on sunscreen. SPF 15 up to 30. Nothing more than 30. Why not? See, I'm putting 50 all over my kids. Why not? It's a waste. It's not going to hurt you. It's absolutely fine, it's just costing you more money. So the 50 doesn't last longer? It's not more protection? No. Absolutely not. Explain how that breaks down for us. With SPF 15, it is blocking 93% of the rays so you're getting 7% exposure of UV radiation. Ok. With 15. With 15. What about with 30? 30, it bounces up to 97%. So 93%. 30 is 97% So what is 50. Then 98 and 99 from 50 to 75. 1%. It's so minute and miniscule that it's not worth the extra dollars. You absolutely can do it but in some ways can be counterproductive and the way you think "if I'm putting on 50 I'm good for 4 hours. Yes! So, it gives you a false sense of security, so we recommend a 15. Apply it the right way and apply it every two hours. Especially right after swimming or bathing. What is the right way..."