Summer weather is–finally–here. As temps warm and more people go outside to enjoy all the season has to offer, from exploring Wilton’s scenic beauty or simply basking in the heat of the sun, it’s important to remember that temperatures are not the only thing to rise in the summer–so too does the risk of developing skin cancer.

Exposure to ultraviolet radiation, as caused by extended periods spent in the sun, is a significant risk factor for the disease. Summer marks a period of elevated danger for people of all ages, and understanding skin cancer and its causes is vital to combatting it.

To raise public awareness about the disease, the Western Connecticut Health Network will conduct an open seminar titled “Skin Cancer: Diagnosis, Treatment and Prevention” on Wednesday, June 14 at the Wilton YMCA. The seminar will be led by Dr. Francis Cannizzo, Jr., the medical director of Surgical Oncology at WCHN. In addition to a long career as a surgeon, Dr. Cannizzo has extensive experience as a public speaker, delivering lectures on medicine and public health. Topics of discussion will include skin cancer prevention, risk factors, symptoms, screening, diagnosis, and treatment.

For those unable to attend the seminar, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention has the following tips to reduce the risk of skin cancer:

  • Stay in the shade, especially during midday hours.
  • Wear clothing that covers your arms and legs.
  • Wear a hat with a wide brim to shade your face, head, ears, and neck.
  • Wear sunglasses that wrap around and block both UVA and UVB rays.
  • Use sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or higher, and both UVA and UVB (broad-spectrum) protection.
  • Avoid indoor tanning.

The seminar will take place on Wednesday from 7-8 p.m. in the Wilton Family YMCA Activity Center. It is being offered free of charge to members of the community, and attendees should register by calling 1-866-NHB-WELL.