This year in the US there will be nearly 6 million new cases of skin cancer. That is more than the combined incidence of all cancers of the breast, prostate, lung and colon. One person dies of melanoma (the most deadly of all skin cancers) every 52 minutes in our country.
May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month, and all of us at evolv would like to educate and remind everyone of the alarming increase and dangers to our families and friends from this preventable disease that will impact one in five Americans over their lifetime.
As with any cancer, the best way to reduce risk is through awareness, prevention and early detection. The vast majority of skin cancers are related to sun exposure which is a form of radiation – that includes tanning beds! Why is the incidence of skin cancer increasing with the wide availability of sunscreen products? The answer involves not only inconsistent use and complacency, but also the wide inconsistencies between various sunscreens as well as their composition and stability. The function and quality of an effective sunscreen involves much more than the ‘SPF’ number on the bottle. Many people are surprised to learn that an independent analysis of more than 1400 over-the-counter sunscreens revealed that less than 25% of the sunscreens actually proved to have the level of protection advertised on the bottle!
For many adults with previous excessive exposure, sun avoidance and use of a sunscreen is not enough to reduce skin cancer risk. That is because effective sunscreen used may protect against future damage and cancer, but it does not reduce the risk acquired by previous sun exposure. The good news is that new science in skin health has provided us with products and techniques to remove pre-cancerous and damaged cells from the skin surface and to provide any patient at any age with healthier, more youthful skin and less cancer risk.
So for this season of spring and the skin cancer awareness month of May, we encourage everyone to learn about these exciting new options. Long-term individualized programs are available that can protect you and your families from this preventable cancer and offer you a lifetime of more youthful and healthy skin – something that is exciting at any age!
For more information on skin cancer and prevention, please visit the Skin Cancer Foundation website or make an appointment at evolv with Dr. Barone or one of our professional staff. For a list of interesting and surprising skin cancer facts, click here!