8 Little-Known Facts About Skin Cancer

These facts give reason to practice sun safety

Skin cancer is on the rise and now more young people are being diagnosed than ever. What most people don't realize is that skin cancer is highly preventable—In fact, it is the most preventable type of cancer.  All it takes to prevent the disease is to be educated on how you can be sun-savvy

If you need more motivation to slather on that SPF and stay safe in the sun, here are 8 shocking facts you need to know about skin cancer:

About 90% of Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer Is Caused by Ultra-Violet Exposure

FDA Announces Stricter Guidelines For Sun Screens. Credit: Joe Raedle / Staff / Getty Images

The UV rays of the sun are responsible for most non-melanoma skin cancers. Unprotected exposure to these rays can come from being outdoors, lying in tanning beds, and even having exposure through your car or home windows.

One Person Dies From Melanoma Almost Every Hour

Dermatologist examining patients moles. Credit: BSIP/Universal Images Group / Getty Images

A common misconception is that you cannot die from skin cancer. Unfortunately, about 8,000 people will die of melanoma in the U.S. this year alone. It is estimated that 2,800 people will die of non-melanoma skin cancer this year as well. The sad thing is that most of these deaths could have been prevented by following easy skin cancer prevention methods.

Skin Cancer Accounts for Nearly 50% of All Cancers Combined

Doctor checking melanoma. Credit: Peter Dazeley / Getty Images

Skin cancer is the most commonly diagnosed type of cancer among men and women.  Exposure to UV rays through natural and artifical means is the culprit. Since skin cancer is such a common type of cancer, it is advised that everyone examine their skin at home and undergo a yearly clinical skin exam by their doctor.

More Than One Million Cases of Skin Cancer Will Be Diagnosed This Year

Doctor examining woman with melanoma. Credit: Peter Dazeley / Getty Images

The American Cancer Society estimates that 1.5 million cases of skin cancer will be diagnosed this year, a number that is expectetd to continually rise. The culprit? Exposure to harmful UV rays from the sun and artificial means like tanning beds.

Skin Cancer Is Most Deadly for African Americans, Asians, and Latinos

Melanoma Exam at the Washington Cancer Institute. Credit: The Washington Post / Contributor / Getty Images

The risk of developing melanoma is rather low for African Americans, Asians, and Latinos, however this type of skin cancer is typically more deadly for these groups. You should know that all people are at risk of developing skin cancer, regardless of ethnicity.

1 in 3 Caucasians Will Be Diagnosed With Skin Cancer

Skin cancer. Credit: Bartek Tomczyk / Getty Images

One in five Americans will be diagnosed in their lifetime with skin cancer. The risk is higher for white individuals: one in three.

Just One Bad Burn in Childhood Increases the Risk of Developing Melanoma Later

Wart on the face child. Credit: Bartek Tomczyk / Getty Images

Protecting children against UV exposure is essential for healthy skin into adulthood. A single blistering sunburn during childhood increases the risk of melanoma as an adult.

Men Are Diagnosed With Skin Cancer More Often Than Women

Female dermatologist examining a male patient. Credit: Susan Chiang / Getty Images

Did you know that men are twice as likely to develop skin cancer than women? In fact, skin cancer is more common than prostate cancer, lung cancer, and colon cancer in men over 50. This makes skin cancer the most common type of cancer in men over 50.

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