We have been loving the sun! Living in Colorado, that comes easy. We also know that learning to recognize skin cancer can be the difference between an early, treatable diagnosis vs. a later stage diagnosis which will be more invasive to treat.
Here are some facts that you need to know:
- Having 5 or more sunburns doubles your risk of melanoma. There are actually multiple types of skin cancer. The most common types are basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. Melanoma, while less common than basal cell or squamous cell carcinoma, is more aggressive and accounts for the highest mortality rate. The good news is melanoma is a highly preventable form of skin cancer. By taking steps to minimize sun exposure and protecting the skin during sun exposure, most people will have a low risk of developing melanoma.
- With early detection, the 5 year survival rate for melanoma is 99%. Early intervention is essential for effective melanoma treatment. One of the main reasons melanoma is associated with such a high mortality rate is that many melanoma cases are discovered in the advanced stages. But with early intervention, melanoma is very responsive to treatment so that makes regular skin checks imperative!
- More than 2 people an hour die from melanoma in the U.S. Skin cancer prevention and early intervention are key to reducing the number of annual deaths related to this condition.
- 1 in 5 Americans develop skin cancer before the age of 70. The risk of developing skin cancer and other skin health issues increases with age. From cosmetic changes to serious health concerns, it becomes increasingly important to visit a dermatologist regularly as we grow older.
- 9500 people are diagnosed with skin cancer every day in the U.S. More people in the U.S. are diagnosed with skin cancer than all other forms of cancer combined. Skin cancer is very common, and in most cases, it’s a highly treatable form of cancer. The sooner a dermatologist can diagnose skin cancer and begin treatment, the more likely patients are to make a full recovery. Regular self-screenings are essential, especially for patients who are at an increased risk of developing skin cancer.
THE MAIN MESSAGE? Protect your skin when you are in the sun, even on cloudy days, do regular skin checks yourself, see a dermatologist once a year for a full body skin check.