Protect yourself and your family by learning more about this preventable disease.
May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month, and you know what that means! Time to break out the sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses, and avoid spending too much time in the sun. But seriously, why is skin cancer awareness month so important?
For starters, skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States. One in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, nearly 10,000 Americans die from skin cancer each year.
And while skin cancer is found mainly in older adults, it can affect people of all ages. Read on to learn more about how to protect your skin because it could save your life!
Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer.
More than 3.5 million Americans are diagnosed with skin cancer each year. But what exactly is skin cancer? Well, it’s basically when cells in your skin start growing out of control. There are three main types of skin cancer.
- Basal cell carcinoma: This is the most common type of skin cancer, and it usually shows up as a small, pinkish bump on your skin.
- Squamous cell carcinoma: Is the second most common type of skin cancer, and it usually appears as a scaly patch or a sore that doesn’t heal.
- Melanoma: This is the third most common type of skin cancer, and it’s the most dangerous. Melanomas can show up as dark spots on your skin, which can be hard to detect. But if you catch them early, they’re usually curable. So if you notice anything different about your skin, make sure to see a doctor right away.
Skin cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the United States.
Can you believe that skin cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in America? It’s true! Most skin cancer cases are caused by exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun. When our skin is exposed to UV rays, it can damage the DNA and cells. This can lead to changes in the DNA that can cause skin cancer.
Skin cancer usually develops over time, so it’s important to protect your skin from UV rays, especially if you’re fair-skinned or have a history of sun exposure.
Risk factors for getting diagnosed with skin cancer
While anyone can get skin cancer, certain risk factors can increase your chances of being diagnosed. By understanding these risk factors, you can take steps to protect yourself from skin cancer. Some of these risk factors include:
Having fair skin
If you have fair skin, you might not think you’re at risk of getting skin cancer. However, fair skin is one of the most significant risk factors for being diagnosed with skin cancer. This is because fair skin doesn’t have as much melanin, which is a pigment that helps to protect the skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays. As a result, fair-skinned people are more likely to get sunburned, and they’re also more likely to develop skin cancer if they don’t take precautions against the sun. If you have fair skin, it’s important to be extra careful when you’re outdoors.
Being exposed to UV rays
Most of us enjoy soaking up some sun, but it’s vital to be proactive about protecting our skin from harmful UV rays. Spending too much time in the sun can lead to several problems, including sunburn, premature aging, and, most seriously, skin cancer.
Not only is skin cancer one of the most common forms of cancer, but the rates of diagnosis are also on the rise. While many factors can contribute to developing skin cancer, exposure to UV rays is one of the biggest risks. That’s why it’s so important to take some simple precautions to help reduce your risk of skin cancer.
Having a family history of skin cancer
If you have a family member who has had skin cancer, you may be wondering if you’re at increased risk for developing the disease. The answer is yes – having a family history of skin cancer is one of the major risk factors for getting diagnosed with the disease. However, that doesn’t mean that you’re guaranteed to get skin cancer if your family has a history of the disease.
There are a number of other factors that can increase your risk, including exposure to UV rays, fair skin, and a history of sunburns. But if you have a family member who has had skin cancer, it’s important to be extra vigilant about protecting yourself from the sun and checking for signs of the disease.
Being over the age of 50
While anyone can develop skin cancer, certain risk factors can make you more susceptible to the disease. One of these risk factors is age. The AAD says that people over 50 are more likely to be diagnosed with skin cancer than people in younger age groups. This is because the older you are, the more time you’ve had to accumulate sun damage to your skin
So, there you have it! Some of the major risk factors for developing skin cancer. But don’t let that stop you from enjoying the sun! Just remember to take some simple precautions to help protect your skin. And if you’re ever concerned about a possible skin cancer diagnosis, be sure to see one of our dermatologists at the Skin and Cancer Institute. Need sunscreen? We’re doing a promo here for 20% off antioxidants and sunscreen throughout May!