Charleston Dermatology Blog

3 Surprising Facts About Skin Cancer

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As part of Skin Cancer Awareness Month, we thought it would be beneficial to share some interesting facts about this common, yet frequently misunderstood form of cancer. We strongly believe that the more facts you have your disposal, the better off you will be.

Fact #1: More than 1 million cases of skin cancer will be diagnosed this year.

You read that right. One million cases in one year. That doesn’t even include the cases that go undiagnosed. In fact, one person dies from some form of skin cancer every hour due to either a lack of diagnosis or a late diagnosis. Even though skin cancer accounts for more than 50 percent of all cancers combined, most people do not take prevention seriously. That’s why regular skin cancer screenings are so important. The earlier you can catch it, the easier it is to treat.

Fact #2: Men are diagnosed with skin cancer more often than women.

According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, guys between the ages of 15 and 39 are more than twice as likely to die of melanoma compared to their female peers. What’s the cause of this disparity between the two genders? In a 2012 survey conducted by the Skin Cancer Foundation, it was found that nearly half the men surveyed hadn’t used sunscreen at all in the past year. Nearly 80 percent of men didn’t know how much sunscreen to use and 70 percent didn’t know the warning signs of skin cancer. All of which are extremely alarming statistics, but provide clarity in why men are more likely to develop skin cancer.

Fact #3: A person’s risk for melanoma doubles if he/she has had more than five sunburns.

A sunburn is not only painful, but it can cause a lot of damage that you may not see right away. Sunburns cause DNA damage to the skin, accelerate skin aging and increase your risk of developing skin cancer over time. The more often you get sunburns, the more damage you do to your skin. We recommend you take every possible precaution to ensure that you keep your sunburn count to a minimum. Seek the shade as often as possible, use sunscreen that is broad spectrum, SPF 30 or higher and water resistant, and cover up when you can.

Now is the perfect time to schedule your annual screening with Charleston Dermatology. We’d love to help you keep your skin happy and healthy for years to come!

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