• 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
    • Wearing:
      • Sunscreen
        • 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.
            • Sunglasses



1. Skin Cancer. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Published 2014. Accessed July 11, 2016.

2. Hillhouse, J. 2007. "Keep the skin you were born in!"

3. Tanning. Skin Cancer Foundation. Published 2016. Accessed February 14, 2017.