Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer within the United States. Studies suggest that one in five Americans will develop a form of skin cancer in their lifetime. For perspective, research shows that about 9,500 people are diagnosed with skin cancer everyday! The severity of skin cancer varies depending on the type of cancer and the individual. Let’s address the risk factors associated with developing skin cancer.
- You like to tan: If you consistently expose your skin the natural or artificial ultra violet light, you increase your chances of getting skin cancer. If more people avoided this specific risk factor, the incidence of skin cancer would drop by 3 million cases per year.
- If you had excessive sun exposure as a child: Did you ever get a blistering sunburn as a child or teenager? Even one incident of being badly sunburned can double your chance of getting melanoma. If you experienced more than five bad sunburns between age 15 and 20, your likelihood of getting melanoma jumps by 80%. In addition, your likelihood of developing non-melanoma skin cancer increases by 68%. Research shows that using sunscreen daily can decrease your risk of getting melanoma by half.
- You possess certain genetic and behavioral factors: If you have skin that burns easily, freckles, light skin, blond or red hair, a history of high sun exposure and use of tanning beds, or immune suppressing diseases or treatments, you are more likely to develop skin cancer.
- You have a lot of moles: If you have more than 50 moles, large moles, or atypical moles, you are at a heightened chance of developing skin cancer.
Schedule a consultation
If you have any of the above mentioned risk factors or want to have a mole checked, schedule a consultation with Dr. Olack. If you are concerned about developing skin cancer, remember that the best treatment is prevention. Start now to care for your skin by using a broad-spectrum sunscreen and being mindful of your sun exposure. To arrange an appointment with Dr. Olack, call us at (928) 537-6767.