May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month. Skin cancer is one of the most common types of cancer, with over one million people diagnosed each year!
Fast Facts about Skin Cancer
- Skin cancer and melanoma account for about 50% of all types of cancers diagnosed combined.
- Skin cancer is one of the more preventable types of cancer.
- More than 90% of skin cancer is causes by excessive exposure to the sun. Each hour, 1 person dies from skin cancer
Skin Cancer and Melanoma Basics
- Skin cancer is divided into two categories: melanoma and non-melanoma. Melanoma is a dangerous form of skin cancer. Although serious, non-melanomas are much less life threatening and easier to treat.
- Melanoma accounts for 4% of skin cancer cases diagnosed. It is estimated that 62,000 people will be diagnosed with melanoma in 2006. Almost 8,000 are expected to die of melanoma this year.
- There are two common types of non-melanoma skin cancer: basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma.
Symptoms of Skin Cancer
- A small lump (spot or mole) that is shiny, waxy, pale in color, and smooth in texture.
- A red lump (spot or mole) that is firm.
- A sore or spot that bleeds or become crusty. Also look for sores that don’t heal.
- Rough and scaly patches on the skin.
- Flat scaly areas of the skin that are red or brown.
- Any new growth that is suspicious.
If you suspect that a lump, spot, or mole may be suspicious of skin cancer, see your doctor. When detected early, it is highly treatable.