May Is National Skin Cancer and Melanoma Awareness Month
It's Good for Your Health to Know about the Dark Side of the Sun
Skin cancer — including melanoma as well as basal and squamous cell carcinomas — is the most common of all cancer types.
The American Cancer Society estimates that in the United States this year there will be about 100,350 new cases of melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer, and 6,850 deaths from it. The rates of melanoma have been rising for the past few decades.
Melanoma is more common in men overall, but before age 50 the rates are higher in women than in men.
The number of cases of the more frequent skin cancers, basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, has been increasing for many years. According to one estimate, about 3.5 million cases of them are diagnosed annually (80% are basal cell).
Most of these three types of skin cancer are caused by exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation primarily from the sun. However, only a little over half of American adults use sun-protection measures.