8 things you didn’t know about skin cancer

8 things you didn’t know about skin cancer

Wear sunscreen. Avoid tanning beds. Limit time in the sun.

Think you know everything about skin cancer? These facts may surprise you.

  1. Melanoma accounts for only one percent of skin cancers but causes the most skin-cancer-related deaths.
  2. About one in every 10 persons diagnosed with skin cancer has a family member with a history of melanoma.
  3. Once you have had melanoma, you have an increased risk of recurrence. Additionally, if you have or had other forms of skin cancer, you are at an increased risk of developing melanoma.
  4. $343 million. That’s the cost of medical care for tanning-associated skin cancers, according to the Journal of Cancer Policy.
  5. Left-sided facial cancers and wrinkling are more common in the U.S. because of the position in which we drive.
  6. The deadliest form of skin cancer is melanoma, and about 60 percent of those diagnosed are white men over 50.
  7. You can get melanoma in your eyes.
  8. Over the last 30 years, more people have had skin cancer than all other cancers combined.

Dr. Nilam Amin, a dermatologist on staff at Illinois Masonic Medical Center in Chicago, recommends getting skin checks on a regular basis for early detection of any skin abnormalities.

“Many forms of skin cancer are highly curable with local treatments, but others, like melanoma, can advance and spread if not detected early,” says Dr. Amin. “Signs of skin cancer can be very subtle, so it is very important to have any new or changing skin growths or sores that don’t heal or other areas of concern checked by your physician.”

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  1. Thanks for sharing your article about skin cancer. I never knew that Melanoma is the number 1 leading reason for skin cancer death although it only accounts for only 1 percent of skin cancers. I also like that you talked about how there are highly curable skin cancer forms if detected early. I noticed an unusual growth in my best friend’s mole on her shoulder. I am very concern with her because I understand how Melanoma can lead to death. I will make sure to bring her to a dermatologist to check her mole and get treatments as early as now if needed.

  2. This is a good read, I feel that there is very little skin cancer awareness out at present or maybe I have chose to ignore it I am not sure. My sister developed a melanoma at a very young age many years back, we were told at the time she was probably the youngest in Britain to have a mm. I had a mole removed myself to be safe. And we both avoided sun and wore factor 50 every day. As I entered my teens I developed acne, I chose to see a private dermatologist as I had very bad acne all over my body which developed into keloid scarring. At this time not aware of any cancer risk from sun beds, I was advised by this specialist to use the sun beds,I was told this would blend my scars in so I would be able to walk around with my top off. Anyway as does happen I become addicted sunbeds. Using them 3 to 4 times a week then as the data came out which proved sunbeds do indeed cause skin cancer I was one of those people who said yeh but not me it’s a slim chance I will be fine. If only that was true. I now find myself attending clinic on a regular basis to have chunks of me cut away. I have Basel Cell carcinomas growing all over my body which will one day I am told spread to my face. We need to get the message out that sunbeds will give you cancer no matter who you are or how infrequent you use them. These are dangerous and should be banned. Interested to hear anyone else’s thoughts.

  3. Informative article. I have had Basal Cell skin cancer removed. But I did not know that this also increases my risk of getting Melanoma.

  4. I just had a small Squamous cell carcinoma removed from the middle of my back, during the surgery, the doctor told me that sunburn or tanning becomes accumulative during your life. Because of my light skin, I used to get sun burnt every spring, so this is a strong concern for young people wanting to get a tan.

  5. The cost of removing suspicious spots is outrageous! I have had 5 basal cells removed at a cost of $4500 out of pocket. Only to be told by last doctor something else will probably end my life before basal cell causes any serious damage!

About the Author

Janine Sheedy
Janine Sheedy

Janine Sheedy is a public affairs and marketing manager at Advocate Health Care in Downers Grove. She holds a B.A. in communications from Loyola University New Orleans and an MBA from Loyola University Chicago. She has more than seven years of communications experience, most recently serving as a public relations and marketing manager for the Illinois Hospital Association. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, reading and Green Bay Packers football. On September 9, 2017, Janine will be running for the coveted Musky Queen title at Wills Northwoods Inn.