It’s time for everyone to take skin cancer seriously. Each year there are more new cases of skin cancer than the combined incidence of breast, prostate, lung and colon cancers. Over the past three decades, more people have had skin cancer than all the other cancers combined.
Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is the most common form of skin cancer, with 2.8 million new cases diagnosed annually. BCC are rarely fatal, but are quite disfiguring if not treated.
Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is the second most common form of skin cancer. An estimated 700,000 cases of SCC are diagnosed annually. These can spread, and about 2,500 people each year die from them. Actinic Keratosis is the most common precancer. It affects more than 58 million Americans. These can change into SCCs if not treated.
And then there’s the most insidious type of skin cancer: melanoma.
One person dies from melanoma every 57 minutes. Melanoma accounts for less than five percent of skin cancer cases, but the vast majority of skin cancer deaths. Approximately 9,200 people died from melanoma in 2012. The incidence of melanoma is increasing—in 1935 it was 1 in 1,500 people and now, in 2013, it is 1 in 50 people that will be diagnosed with melanoma.
The good news is that you have the power to protect yourself from skin cancer. No matter what age you are, it’s never too late to lower your risk for skin cancer, and that goes for everyone of every ethnicity. (It’s a myth that dark skin doesn’t need sun protection!)
Reach for an SPF 30 or above that is hypoallergenic, fragrance-free and offers broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection. Reapply every two hours or when you get out of the water.
You can find great sunscreen everywhere! My personal favorite brands are…
At the drugstore
At the department store and dermatologist office