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.