Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States, with more than two million people being diagnosed each year. While most cases of skin cancer can be successfully treated if found early, the large and growing number of people getting the disease makes skin cancer a serious concern. Medical costs alone to treat skin cancer are estimated at almost $2 billion annually.
Here are some other facts you might not now about skin cancer:
- More people were diagnosed with skin cancer in 2009 than with breast, prostate, lung, and colon cancer combined.
- About 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer during their lifetime.
- One American dies of melanoma almost every hour.
- Melanoma is one of the few cancers that continues to have an increasing number of cases each year.
- Melanoma is the second most common form of cancer for adolescents and young adults (15-29 years old).
- For people born in 2005, 1 in 52 will be diagnosed with melanoma— nearly 30 times higher than for people born in 1930.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
- Do Not Burn or Tan. Avoid intentional tanning. Avoid tanning beds. Ultraviolet light from the sun and tanning beds causes skin cancer and wrinkling.
- Seek Shade; When sun’s rays are the strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
- Wear Protective Clothing, Long-sleeved shirt and pants. A wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses.
- Generously Apply Sunscreen.Use a broad spectrum sunscreen with Sun Protection Factor (SPF) 30 or higher for protection from ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation. Apply 15 minutes before going outdoors and reapply every two hours.
- Use Extra Caution Near Water, Snow, and Sand. These surfaces reflect the damaging rays of the sun, which can increase your chance of sunburn.
- Get Vitamin D Safely,Through a healthy diet. Take vitamin supplements.
- Early detection of melanoma can save your life. Carefully examine all of your skin once a month. A new or changing spot should be evaluated.
The SHADE Foundation of America, The Children’s Skin Cancer Foundation, is a 501 c 3 national nonprofit organization established 2002 after founder Shonda Schilling’s very public battle with malignant melanoma with the mission to eradicate melanoma through the education of children, parents, educators and the community in the prevention and detection of skin cancer. You can support the SHADE Foundation through We-Care.com by signing up for a free account, or visiting their online mall, and stop by their Facebook page to learn more!