Skin Cancer: The Facts
About one out of every two American men and one out of every three American women will get some type of cancer during their lifetime. Anyone can get cancer at any age, but about 77 percent of all cancers are diagnosed in people age of 55 and older.
Did you know…
- Skin cancer is the most common of all types of cancers, with more cases diagnosed each year than breast, prostate, lung and colon cancers combined.
- The National Cancer Institute estimates there were more than 1 million new cases of skin cancer diagnosed in 2010.
- Melonoma is only one type of skin cancer, accounting for less than 5% of all cancer deaths but causes the greatest number of skin cancer deaths.
- Melanoma is more than 10 times more common in whites than in African Americans. It is slightly more widely found in men than in women.
The facts can be scary, but keep in mind most skin cancers are preventable and curable if found early. Here are some tips to keep you protected:
- Limit the amount of unprotected time you spend in the sun by staying in the shade, applying sunscreen, wearing protective clothing and limiting your use of tanning beds and sun lamps.
- Remember that sunscreen should be reapplied every 2 hours, more frequently if you are in water.
- Tanning lamps give out ultraviolet A (UVA) and most often ultraviolet B (UVB) rays — both of which can cause long-term harm to your skin and can contribute to skin cancer.
- Children need special care, since they tend to spend more time outdoors and can burn more easily.
- Don't forget to check your moles, freckles and blemishes regularly so you can note any changes, and make regular skin exams with your doctor. Skin exams and sun safety are the keys to keeping your skin healthy. You may even keep some wrinkles away too!
Sources: American Cancer Society; National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion