May is Skin Cancer Awareness month, so let’s look at the latest statistics on skin cancer in the USA.
- One person dies every 54 minutes from skin cancer (usually melanoma)
- An estimated 10,000 people in the US will die this year from skin cancer
- One in five Americans will develop skin cancer in the course of a lifetime
- There are over 60 million Americans living with pre-cancerous skin disease
- It is estimated that more than 90% of skin cancer is preventable
These numbers are sobering and alarming, as is the increase incidence and rate of skin cancer, while many other cancers are decreasing in number.
It doesn’t have to be this way, particularly when the vast majority of skin cancer is preventable.
The good news, research, and technology in bioengineering have given us new opportunities and options in topical products, as well as services that can dramatically lower cancer risk and restore healthy, more youthful skin. But in most cases, it is not enough to use only sunscreen to lower skin cancer risk because of pre-existing ultraviolet radiation from sun exposure needs to be addressed in order to make a difference.
At evolv Plastic Surgery & Medical Aesthetics, we are passionate about using proven technology and products to prevent skin cancer, reduce pre-existing sun damage and pre-cancerous disease, and restore skin to optimal health and vitality.
“Evolv’s Top 10” suggestions for patients and anyone at risk:
- Be sure to select a proven or certified medical grade sunscreen; a recent study revealed that up to 75% of over-the-counter sunscreens (1,400 were tested) did not have the level of protection that was advertised. Some sunscreen actually broke down and became ineffective in sunlight.
- Sunscreen should be applied in all seasons, not just the summer months, due to UVA rays that are not affected by the time of year or seasons.
- The use of an effective topical antioxidant under your sunscreen may not only lower cancer risk but also reduce UV light-induced damage that can prematurely age the skin.
- Exfoliating regularly, especially for patients over the age of 40, will not only improve skin quality and health but also reduces skin cancer risk by removing outer layer pre-cancerous cells, while simultaneously encouraging the production of new, undamaged cells to replace them. At evolv, we prefer the oscillating Clarisonic Brush with a ZO Skin Health facial cleanser.
- Please inform your family members, especially younger adults, that ALL tanning beds contain cancer-causing UV radiation. More than 420,000 causes of skin cancer in the US each year are linked to indoor tanning.
- For the many people with pre-existing pre-cancerous skin lesions, there are new and more effective treatment options that can significantly reduce cancer risk. Be sure to consult with a board-certified Plastic Surgeon or Dermatologist with experience in advanced medical skin care.
- Deeper skin resurfacing with chemical peels or medical lasers cannot only rejuvenate younger, healthier skin, but reduces cancer risk as well. Research from the Indiana University Department of Dermatology reveals that deeper resurfacing also stimulates the production of natural cancer preventing proteins in the skin.
- Consult with an experienced skin care professional to learn more about the exciting new options for skin rejuvenation that offer the possibility of reduced aging and lowering your skin cancer risk.
- Educate yourself and your family about inherited risk for skin cancer based on family history and the level of skin pigmentation. Education is your best defense to protect yourself and your family.
- Finally, be sure to have your skin completely examined at least once a year, and even twice a year for high-risk individuals, by your physician or an experienced skin care professional. Prevention and early detection are your best protection in fighting skin cancer.
Options of Skin Protection & Restoration
For May, Skin Cancer Awareness Month, evolv is offering many options to protect and restore your skin. Other options in products and services will be available to provide protection, lower cancer risk and premature aging, and ultimately, restoring healthy, youthful skin.
As we prepare for summer, we hope everyone will make an effort to learn more about these new and exciting options in skin cancer prevention and optimal skin health. And by doing so, we can win the war against skin cancer while improving the quality of life for all of our patients and families.
Dr. Frank Barone, MD, FACS