Utah oncologist talks cancer prevention ahead of Memorial Day

May 22, 2024, 10:54 AM

Sunscreen for cancer prevention...

MaryAnn Gerber puts sunscreen on her daughter Maggie Gerber, 8, at their home in Layton on Tuesday, June 27, 2023. MaryAnn Geber had melanoma at age 23. (Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)

(Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — May is skin cancer awareness month and a good time to discuss what we can do to prevent cancer.

For many, Memorial Day weekend will mean spending several hours outdoors in the sun. Huntsman Cancer Institute Deputy Director Dr. Theresa Werner said that means wearing sunscreen to prevent skin cancer.

Werner is a practicing oncologist. While treatments for various cancers have high success rates, she said they still stress cancer prevention. 

“We talk about sun safety all the time. We live in a state at high altitude and we love our outdoor sports,” Werner said. “Melanoma is actually a very high, prevalent cancer here in Utah.

“So, wearing sunscreen, covering up when you’re out in the sun, something as simple as that, you could prevent cancer from happening in the first place.”

Cancer prevention and screenings

According to Werner, if primary prevention doesn’t work, catching cancer early through screening is the next best option.

“If I look at women, I talk about doing mammograms and breast exams, for example. Usually, they’ll start anywhere between age 40 and 50. If you think about males too … we do recommend that they get their PSA check.”

Additionally, younger people can take steps toward cancer prevention.

“We know the HPV virus can cause a lot of cervix cancers for example. So, we encourage young girls and boys both to get the HPV vaccine because that could decrease a woman’s risk of cervical cancer.”

Werner said if you find something that’s persistent, or that’s not going away, then you need to get in and see a doctor so you have the best chance of catching problems early.

“The earlier you find the cancer, the less cancer there is we hope and maybe more treatable in a higher chance for cure.”

Related reading:

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.


Katy Welkie, vice president of Intermountain and CEO of Intermountain Primary Children's Hospital, ...

Eric Cabrera, Amie Schaeffer

Intermountain Health to open behavioral health center in Taylorsville

Intermountain Health is expanding its behavioral health services. A new center for children and teens will open in Taylorsville in 2025.

1 day ago

A hand is surrounded by blue surgical napkins as two other gloved hands operate on it during a carp...

Mariah Maynes

Utah Hand Center celebrates milestone in carpal tunnel surgeries

The Utah Hand Center said that is has become the first U.S. provider of orthopedic care to complete 3,000 successful carpal tunnel surgeries.

1 day ago


Michelle Lee

Foods and drinks linked to anxiety

Let’s Get Moving Host Maria Shilaos spoke with Health Educator Dr. Julie Gatza to learn how we can reduce anxiety with foods and drinks.

3 days ago

The Foundation’s 38-foot RV, customized with two private exam rooms, will travel around the count...


Free skin cancer screening program visits Park City

Local dermatologists will provide free full-body skin cancer screenings in Park City in an RV meant just to check patients.

3 days ago

Johnson & Johnson brand baby powder, one of several products at the center of lawsuits against the ...

Kyle Remund

State of Utah reaches settlement with Johnson & Johnson

Johnson & Johnson will be giving Utah and many other states a massive payout due to deceptive marketing practices for talc-based products.

6 days ago


Heather Peterson

Program connects those who struggle with mental health to employers

SALT LAKE CITY — A sector of Utah’s Department of Health and Human Services is connecting those who struggle with mental illnesses with employers, to aid in their recovery. With Individual Placement and Support (IPS) offices across the state, they help those who have suffered from mental health crises or a co-occurring substance use disorder, […]

7 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Underwater shot of the fisherman holding the fish...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Your Bear Lake fishing guide

Bear Lake offers year-round fishing opportunities. By preparing ahead of time, you might go home with a big catch!

A group of people cut a purple ribbon...


Comcast announces major fiber network expansion in Utah

Comcast's commitment to delivering extensive coverage signifies a monumental leap toward a digitally empowered future for Utahns.

a doctor putting her hand on the chest of her patient...

Intermountain Health

Intermountain nurse-midwives launch new gynecology access clinic

An access clinic launched by Intermountain nurse-midwives provides women with comprehensive gynecology care.

Young couple hugging while a realtor in a suit hands them keys in a new home...

Utah Association of Realtors

Buying a home this spring? Avoid these 5 costly pitfalls

By avoiding these pitfalls when buying a home this spring, you can ensure your investment will be long-lasting and secure.

a person dressed up as a nordic viking in a dragon boat resembling the bear lake monster...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

The Legend of the Bear Lake Monster

The Bear Lake monster has captivated people in the region for centuries, with tales that range from the believable to the bizarre.


Live Nation Concerts

All the artists coming to Utah First Credit Union Amphitheatre (formerly USANA Amp) this summer

Summer concerts are more than just entertainment; they’re a celebration of life, love, and connection.

Utah oncologist talks cancer prevention ahead of Memorial Day