- Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States.
- The two most common skin cancers (basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas) are highly curable, but can be disfiguring and costly.
- Melanoma (the third most common skin cancer) may be deadly.
- General risk factors include:
- Light skin, or skin that burns, freckles, or reddens easily
- Large number of moles
- Blue or green eyes
- Blond or red hair
- Personal or family history of skin cancer
- Sun exposure
- History of sunburns, especially in early life
- History of indoor tanning
- the average tanning bed gives of 2 to 10 times more UVA radiation than the sun
- using tanning beds before the age of 35 increases a person's risk for developing melanoma by 75%
- The majority of skin cancers are caused by exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light and can be prevented with sun safety practices:
- Seeking shade
- Broad spectrum UVA and UVB, SPF 30 or higher
- Reapplication is necessary every 2 hours and after swimming, sweating or toweling off.
- Protective clothing
- Long sleeves/pants that are kept dry and darker colors are best.
- A hat
- Wide-brimmed hats are best.
1. Skin Cancer. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/cancer/skin/basic_info/sun-safety.htm. Published 2014. Accessed July 11, 2016.
2. Hillhouse, J. 2007. "Keep the skin you were born in!"
3. Tanning. Skin Cancer Foundation. http://www.skincancer.org/prevention/tanning. Published 2016. Accessed February 14, 2017.