Skin cancer isn’t really at the top of the list in terms of what kind of cancer people are the most concerned about. Breast, colon and lung cancer are often given more consideration regarding prevention and screening, but statistics show that Americans should be very concerned about skin cancer. In fact, it should probably be at the top of the list. Sunscreen is a daily necessity, and perhaps some sobering statistics are enough to convince you to try and prevent this very deadly cancer.
Skin Cancer Prevalence and Statistics
Did you know that in the United States, over 5.4 million cases of non-melanoma skin cancer are treated in 3.3 million people annually? Every year, there are more cases of skin cancer diagnosed than all of the combined cases of breast, prostate, lung and colon cancer. That’s right: all of the most dangerous cancers you hear about are less common than skin cancer.
Over the past 30 years, there have been more people diagnosed with skin cancer than all other cancers combined. That’s not just a few cancers; it’s all of them. When one in five Americans develop skin cancer over their lifetime, it’s time to look at the importance of prevention to lower these statistics.
Melanoma: The Deadly Cancer
Skin cancer is completely preventable. With the diligent use of sun protection, it’s entirely possible to prevent melanoma, the deadliest of all of the skin cancers. One person dies of melanoma every 52 minutes. In 2016, it’s estimated that more than 10,000 people will die from melanoma. The most sobering fact is if you’ve had more than five sunburns in your lifetime, your risk of developing melanoma more than doubles.
If you use sunscreen every day, you have a 40 percent less chance of developing squamous cell carcinoma, and your risk of developing melanoma drops by 50 percent. When you use a sunscreen, you need at least an SPF of 15 or higher. If you’re going to be outside in the sun for an extended period of time, you’ll get better protection using a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30.
The biggest mistake people make isn’t what type of sunscreen they use; it’s how little they use. General recommendations say you should use at least two tablespoons (or one ounce) of sunscreen on your entire body 30 minutes before you go out into the sun. This equates to about a shot glass worth of product. If it takes you a bit to rub it all into your skin, then you’ve got enough on to be sufficiently protected.
Sunscreen Can Save Your Life
The saddest part about most skin cancer deaths is that the disease was completely preventable. Taking a few minutes out of your day to protect your skin is the only way to prevent getting any type of skin cancer and becoming another statistic.
At SeaMist MedSpa in South Kingstown, we offer a variety of medical-grade skin care products that are specially designed to protect your skin from the sun. We understand the importance of sun protection in ensuring your overall health and wellbeing. Contact us today to schedule your appointment to learn more about our amazing products.