May is dedicated the awareness of Skin Cancer and Melanoma and methods of detection and prevention.
According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in the course of a lifetime; 13 million Americans are living with a history of nonmelanoma skin cancer, and nearly 800,000 Americans are living with a history of melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer. The statistics are shocking, especially since skin cancer is chiefly lifestyle disease, it is also highly preventable.
An estimated 70,000 people are affected each year by Melanoma or form of Skin Cancer.
WATCH NOW – Fox News Clip on May: Melanoma Awareness Month
With summer right around the corner, it is important to know the facts and ways to prevent skin cancer and melanoma.
Skin Cancer Facts
- In 2012, about 76,250 new melanomas will be diagnosed (about 44,250 in men and 32,000 in women). Incidence rates for melanoma have been rising for at least 30 years.
- Unlike many other common cancers, melanoma has a wide age distribution. It occurs in younger as well as older people. Rates continue to increase with age and are highest among those in their 80s, but melanoma is not uncommon even among those younger than 30. In fact, it is one of the more common cancers in young adults. Early diagnosis is the key to curing this potentially deadly disease, and diagnostic tools are playing a crucial role in aiding dermatologists to spot melanomas at earlier – and more curable – stages.
- Melanoma is more than 10 times more common in whites than in African Americans.
- Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is the most common form of skin cancer; an estimated 2.8 million are diagnosed annually in the United States. BCCs are rarely fatal, but can be highly disfiguring if allowed to grow.
- Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is the second most common form of skin cancer. An estimated 700,000 cases are diagnosed each year in the United States, resulting in approximately 2,500 deaths.
- Actinic keratosis is the most common precancer; it affects more than 58 million Americans.
- Between 40% and 50% of Americans who live to age 65 will have either skin cancer at least once.
- Who survives skin cancer? The survival rate for patients, whose melanoma is detected early, before the tumor has penetrated the skin, is about 97%. The survival rate falls to 15% for those with advanced disease.
Protection from ultraviolet (UV) radiation is important all year round, not just during the summer or at the beach. Whether it is a bright and sunny days UV rays from the sun can affect you. UV rays also reflect off of surfaces like water, cement, sand and snow. Indoor tanning (using a tanning bed, booth, or sunlamp to get tan) exposes users to UV radiation.
The hours between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. daylight savings time (9 a.m. to 3 p.m. standard time) are the most hazardous for UV exposure outdoors in the continental United States. UV rays from sunlight are the greatest during the late spring and early summer in North America.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends easy options for protection from UV radiation—
- Seek shade, especially during midday hours.
- Wear clothing to protect exposed skin.
- Wear a hat with a wide brim to shade the face, head, ears, and neck.
- Wear sunglasses that wrap around and block as close to 100% of both UVA and UVB rays as possible.
- Use sunscreen with sun protective factor (SPF) 15 or higher, and both UVA and UVB protection.
- Avoid indoor tanning.
Ask the Experts
Don’t become a statistic. You know the facts, so get prepared to protect your skin. Our skin care experts can help you identify your problem areas and recommend treatments and products that will help to protect your skin not only during the summer months, but throughout the entire year. Click Here to Get a FREE Personalized Skin Consultation from a Spa of Essex Skin Care Specialist.