Skin Cancer Awareness
With summer finally in full swing, all of us at the Kenosha Community Health Center & Pillar Health are here to share what you need to know about Skin Cancer.
In 2022, we are expected to see approximately 197,700 cases of Melanoma. Along with this, 20% of Americans will develop skin cancer by the age of 70. Skin cancer is the most common of all cancers, however, it is widely misunderstood. It’s assumed that because skin cancer has a very high survival rate, checking for it is a waste of time. However, the survival rate is impacted by prevention and early detection.
So how do we find skin cancer?
We learn our risks, and what to look for, and we take back control over our skin! Let’s start by checking our skin for the Big 3 Detectors.
New: Moles, and blemishes- especially after the age of 21
Change: In color, size, and texture. A leopard’s spots don’t change, and neither should yours!
Unusual: Outlines, continuous itchiness, pain, bleeding, or crusting.
Now that we know what to look for, we need to learn our risks and set the record straight on common misconceptions. To do that, let’s debunk some common myths about Skin Cancer!
Skin cancers such as Melanoma indeed have a 99% 5-year survival rate, however, skin cancer is not going to detect itself, and it is best treated when addressed early on.
Every hour 2-3 people die from skin cancer. Did you know that Acral Lentiginous Melanoma claimed the life of beloved music icon Bob Marley at age 36? People of any age and any skin color can be affected by skin cancer.
The 2 main causes of skin cancer are the Sun’s UV rays and UV tanning beds. The risk of melanoma also DOUBLES if you’ve had more than 5 sunburns.
Wrong! You can stay safe from skin cancer by:
- Examining your body for anything new, changing, or unusual
- See a dermatologist for a professional skin exam yearly (click here to locate a dermatologist near you)
- Use sunscreen every day (it can be as easy as adding a moisturizer with SPF to your skincare routine!)
- Seek shade when outside for an extended period
- Cover up with clothing when needed (this is the most effective form of sun protection!)
- Remember that when skin cancer is caught early-you can be a-okay!
Now that you know your risk, debunked the myths, and took back control over your skin, go spread the word! Tell your friends and family the realities of skin cancer, and the importance of early detection. All of us at the KCHC want you to have a fun and healthy summer. We are our greatest resource, and one conversation about sun safety could save a life!
Source: “The Skin Cancer Foundation Official Website.” The Skin Cancer Foundation, 1 June 2022, https://www.skincancer.org/.
FACTS ABOUT SKIN CANCER
In the past two decades, melanoma incidence has risen by 20% among Hispanics.
The estimated five-year melanoma survival rate for Black patients is only 71% versus 93% for white patients.
There is a 75% increased risk of developing life-threatening melanoma from just one indoor tanning session before age 35.
Only 20-30% of melanomas are found in existing moles. While 70-80% are normal-looking skin.