Melanoma Awareness Month - Facts about Melanoma

  • Melanoma is a skin cancer that can spread earlier and more quickly than the other skin cancers.
  • Melanoma is the most common of all cancers in men and women ages 20-29.
  • Melanoma is the fastest growing cancer in the U.S.
  • In the U.S., there are as many new cases of melanoma each year as there are of AIDS.
  • If caught in the earliest stages, melanoma is entirely treatable, but because it spreads quickly, early detection and treatment is critical.
  • If untreated and allowed to spread, there is no known treatment or cure for melanoma.
  • Melanoma often starts out as a mole and can be removed if caught early. It can look just like a beauty mark though, so many people don’t notice until it’s too late.
  • Risk factors for melanoma include fair complexion, family history, severe sunburns as a child, and using a tanning bed ten times a year or more before age 30.
  • Tanning beds are no healthier than sitting in the sun. Actually, the UVA radiation used in tanning beds is three times the amount of harmful radiation emitted by the sun.

  • UVA rays from tanning beds penetrate deep into the skin; they destroy skin fibers and damage elasticity, causing premature aging, wrinkles and leathery skin.
  • The best ways to lower the risk of non-melanoma skin cancer are to avoid intense sunlight for long periods of time and to practice sun safety.

Sources: 

American Cancer Society

Melanoma.com

About.com

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