According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States.
More than 3.5 million skin cancers in over two million people are diagnosed annually. Each year there are more new cases of skin cancer than the combined incidence of cancers of the breast, prostate, lung and colon. One in five Americans will develop skin cancer in the course of a lifetime. Over the past 31 years, more people have had skin cancer than all other forms of cancer combined.
Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is the most common form of skin cancer; it is estimated that 2.8 million are diagnosed annually in the US. BCCs are rarely fatal, but can be highly harming 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 US, resulting in approximately 2,500 deaths. About 90 percent of nonmelanoma skin cancers are associated with exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun.
Melanoma is the most common form of cancer for young adults 25-29 years old and the second most common form of cancer for young people 15-29 years old. One in 55 people will be diagnosed with melanoma during their lifetime.
The survival rate for patients whose melanoma is detected early, before the tumor has penetrated the skin, is about 99 percent. The survival rate falls to 15 percent for those with advanced disease.
The most important reason for vigilant sun protection is preventing cancer, but of course the sun also does some unwelcome things to your skin.
Easy, everyday sun care tips can make a big difference down the road for your looks and health. No one is immune to skin cancer, so no matter how careful you are, if you notice a mole or mark that looks suspicious, see your doctor immediately.
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