There are unlimited numbers of stats about skin cancer, but some of them are much more sobering than others. One of the best tools you have against skin cancer is knowledge. Once you understand the condition, what causes it and how to prevent it, you have all the power. That being said, stats about skin cancer are a great way to learn more about the issue and build your knowledge base so you’re ready for anything.
1. New Cases
I think you’re going to be surprised when you read this, but it’s definitely one of the most fearful stats about skin cancer. According to Dr. Kevin Berman, there are one million new cases of skin cancer diagnosed each and every year. That’s a staggering number, don’t you think? Whether you get the notice that you have skin cancer or it’s someone close to you, one million people this year are going to see their doctor and find out they have cancer.
2. Deadly Melanoma
As you probably know, melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer there is. Berman says that 1 in 63 people across the world will develop invasive melanoma. That’s a pretty scary number, considering you have more friends than that on Facebook. Melanoma can kill you if it isn’t caught early, so be sure you’re getting regular skin cancer checks and doing a home body scan once a month or so.
According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, skin cancer is the most common form of cancer diagnosed in America. What that means for you is that your risk is probably higher than you think it is. Do you avoid tanning beds and wear sunscreen when you’re outside? If not, your risk is already high. Sun protection is the best way to prevent skin cancer so be sure you’re using it.
As I said, melanoma can be deadly. In fact, the Skin Cancer Foundation reports that a person dies from this type of skin cancer every 57 minutes. Can you believe that? Every hour, someone perishes as a result of a melanoma diagnosis. I don’t know about you but that is scary enough for me.
5. Tanning Beds
I know the lure of the tanning beds. While I avoid them at all costs, I do long for the warm golden glow they create with regular use. However, I’ve had so many skin biopsies that I would never risk it. For good reason too – according to the Skin Cancer Foundation, up to 25 percent of early onset basal cell carcinomas could be prevented by staying away from tanning beds. You can also prevent other types of skin cancer by staying out of the tanning salon.
6. Common Sites
You’d think that any area exposed to the sun was at risk of skin cancer. While that’s true, the most common sites for the development of skin cancer might be surprising. These areas are generally those that are missed when sunscreen is applied. For men, that is the chest and back and for women it’s the legs. When you apply sunscreen, make sure you are slathering it on any exposed skin.
7. Cause of Skin Cancer
It’s important to know what causes skin cancer so you can take steps to prevent it. According to Cancer Research UK, sunlight exposure is the main cause of skin cancer. Even just one bad sunburn ups your odds. You can’t (and probably don’t want to) avoid time outdoors, so make sure you always wear sunscreen.
There, I’m getting off my soapbox now. The point is that skin cancer is a very real and very scary disease. What do you do to prevent it? How do you practice safe sun habits?