Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States, with more than 3.5 million skin cancers diagnosed annually. Ultraviolet(UV) radiation from the sun is the main cause of skin cancer. UV damage can also cause wrinkles and brown spots on your skin. The good news is that skin cancer can be prevented, and it can almost always be cured when it’s found and treated early.
Affiliated Dermatologists of Virginia is proud to participate in Melanoma/Skin Cancer and Prevention Month. Our team of board-certified Dermatologists is committed to skin cancer prevention, evaluation, and treatment.
Skin Cancer Facts:
- The risk of melanoma increases with age – the average age at the time it is found is 62. But melanoma is not uncommon even among those younger than 30. In fact, it is one of the most common cancers in young adults (especially young women).
- Melanoma is more than 20 times more common in whites than in African Americans.
- Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is the most common form of skin cancer; an estimated 2.8 million are diagnosed annually in the US. BCCs are rarely fatal, but can be highly disfiguring if allowed to grow.
- Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is the second most common form of skin cancer. An estimated 700,000 cases are diagnosed each year in the US.
- Actinic keratosis is the most common precancer; it affects more than 58 million Americans.
- Between 40 and 50 percent of Americans who live to age 65 will develop skin cancer, either basal cell or squamous cell, at least once.
- Who survives skin cancer? The 5-year survival rate for patients, whose melanoma is detected early, before the tumor has penetrated the skin, is about 97 percent. The 5-year survival rate falls to 15-20 percent for those with advanced disease.
- Source: The American Cancer Society, Skin Cancer Facts and Skin Cancer Foundation, www.SkinCare.org
- Seek the shade, especially between 10 A.M. and 4 P.M.
- Do not burn.
- Avoid tanning and UV tanning booths.
- Cover up with clothing, including a broad-brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses.
- Use a broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher every day. For extended outdoor activity, use a water-resistant, broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.
- Apply 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) of sunscreen to your entire body 30 minutes before going outside.
- Reapply sunscreen every two hours or immediately after swimming or excessive sweating.
- Keep newborns out of the sun. Sunscreens should only be used on babies over the age of six months.
- Examine your skin head-to-toe every month.
- See your physician every year for a professional skin exam.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, call Affiliated Dermatologists of Virginia at 804-264-4545.