Melanoma is a skin cancer that can spread earlier and more quickly than other skin cancers.
1 in 50 Americans will develop melanoma in their lifetime. It is the fastest growing cancer in the U.S. and worldwide.
Melanoma is the second most common of all cancers in men and women ages 15-29.
It is projected that nearly 80,000 Americans will be diagnosed with melanoma in 2013. That means one person every 8 minutes.
The average age for melanoma diagnosis is 50, compared to other cancers, which is closer to 65-70 years old.
If caught in the earliest stages, melanoma is entirely treatable, but because it spreads quickly, early detection and immediate treatment is critical.
Melanoma often starts out as a mole and can be removed if caught early. But because moles are often mistaken for beauty marks, they go unnoticed. Have a dermatologist look at anything abnormal on your skin.
Risk factors for melanoma include fair complexion, family history, severe sunburns as a child, and using a tanning bed ten times a year or more before age 30.
Tanning beds are no healthier than sitting in the sun. Actually, the UVA radiation used in tanning beds is three times the amount of harmful radiation emitted by the sun, therefore more dangerous.
UVA rays from tanning beds penetrate deep into the skin; they destroy skin fibers and damage elasticity, causing premature aging, wrinkles, and leathery skin.
The best ways to lower the risk of non-melanoma skin cancers are to avoid intense sunlight for long periods of time and to practice sun safety (i.e.: look for sunscreen that provides both UVA and UVB protection).
Prevent skin cancer by staying safe in the sun. GO