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Although skin cancer is more common than all other cancers combined, we have made impressive strides in terms of prevention, early detection and treatment of these cancers. And May, Skin Cancer Awareness Month, serves as a good time to look back on some of the wins, identify remaining opportunities and double down on the strategies that we know work.
“We are doing really well,” says Desiree Ratner, MD, Director of the Comprehensive Skin Cancer Program at Mount Sinai Downtown in New York City. “If skin cancer is caught early, it’s curable, and we are catching more skin cancers early.”
Here’s where we stand today:
Skin Cancer Prevention
Wins: California, Delaware, Dis
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May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month.
Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer, and there are more skin cancers than all other cancers combined. One in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime, and over 9,500 get diagnosed every single day according to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD). On average, one of us dies from a melanoma every hour. Think of it this way, in the time it takes to finish a Flywheel class, someone somewhere in the USA has died from this deadly form of skin cancer. Melanoma is the second most common form of cancer in females age 15-29, and the majority of skin cancer deaths are from melanoma.
Now do we have your attention?
One in five Americans will develop skin cancer in the course of a lifetime, and rates of melanoma – the most deadly form of skin cancer – have been rising steadily for the past three decades.
Basal Cell Carcinomas (most common form of skin cancer) and Squamous Cell Carcinomas (the second most common) are caused primarily by sun exposure, and tend to develop on sun-exposed areas, including the face, ears, neck, lips, scalp, and the backs of the hands. Unfortunately, most skin cancers (estimated at around 80%) occur on the face.
“While daily and rigorous use of broad spectrum SPF30+, seeking shade during peak hours 12-2 pm, and wearing protective clothing are still the best ways to p
From fairest pale to luscious brown, all skin types need to take care in the sun. Skin cancer can strike anyone, regardless of color, and can occur even with skin types rich in melanin. If you have lighter skin that burns easily, you have a higher risk of developing skin cancers, but contrary to popular belief, deep pigmentation does not make you immune.
With all skin tones, the key to prevention is protection, which means avoiding sun exposure during peak hours, wearing protective clothing and, of course, using broad spectrum sunscreens and sunblocks.
“Skin cancer prevention is the same for all skin types – sun protection, sun protection, sun protection,” said Washington, D.C. D