Skin cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer in the United States, and its prevalence is on the rise. According to the American Cancer Society, more than 5 million cases of skin cancer are diagnosed each year, and the number is expected to continue to increase.
The primary cause of skin cancer is exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun or tanning beds. UV radiation damages the skin cells, which can lead to the development of skin cancer. The risk of skin cancer increases with age, and those with fair skin, light eyes, and a history of sunburns are at an even higher risk.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to reduce your risk of skin cancer. The most important step is to protect your skin from the sun. This means wearing sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, wearing protective clothing, and avoiding direct sun exposure during peak hours (10am-4pm). Additionally, it’s important to check your skin regularly for any changes or suspicious spots.
It’s also important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of skin cancer. These include changes in the size, shape, or color of a mole, a new mole, or a sore that doesn’t heal. If you notice any of these signs, it’s important to see a doctor right away.
By taking the necessary steps to protect your skin from the sun and being aware of the signs and symptoms of skin cancer, you can reduce your risk of developing this potentially deadly disease.