The following information is provided by the Skin Cancer Foundation.
WHAT IS SKIN CANCER?
Skin cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal skin cells. It occurs when unrepaired DNA damage to skin cells (most often caused by ultraviolet radiation from sunshine or tanning beds) triggers mutations, or genetic defects, that lead the skin cells to multiply rapidly and form malignant tumors.
KNOW YOUR RISKS
Skin cancer is the most common of all cancers, each year in the U.S. over 5.4 million cases of nonmelanoma skin cancer are treated in more than 3.3 million people. It is also the easiest to cure, if diagnosed and treated early - which is why it is critical to know your risks of skin cancer.
On average, a person’s risk for melanoma doubles if he or she has had more than five sunburns.
Regular daily use of an SPF 15 or higher sunscreen reduces the risk of developing squamous cell carcinoma by about 40 percent and the risk of developing melanoma by 50 percent.
The vast majority of melanomas are caused by the sun. In fact, one UK study found that about 86 percent of melanomas can be attributed to exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun.
More people develop skin cancer because of tanning than develop lung cancer because of smoking.
Individuals who have used tanning beds 10 or more times in their lives have a 34 percent increased risk of developing melanoma compared to those who have never used tanning beds.
People who first use a tanning bed before age 35 increase their risk for melanoma by 75 percent.
From ages 15-39, men are 55 percent more likely to die of melanoma than women in the same age group.
An estimated 52,170 new cases of invasive melanoma in men and 34,940 in women will be diagnosed in the U.S. in 2017.
Women aged 49 and under have a higher probability of developing melanoma than any other cancer except breast and thyroid cancers.
The estimated 5-year melanoma survival rate for blacks is only 69 percent, versus 93 percent for whites.
Skin cancer represents approximately two to four percent of all cancers in Asians.
Late-stage melanoma diagnoses are more prevalent among minority patients than Caucasian patients.
The majority of people diagnosed with melanoma are white men over age 55.
An estimated 90 percent of skin aging is caused by the sun.
People who use sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher daily show 24 percent less skin aging than those who do not use sunscreen daily.
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