Skin Cancer Awareness is represented by the color black, and May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month, a time to increase awareness of the importance of the prevention, early detection, and treatment of skin cancer.
Quick Facts: Skin Cancer Signs, Symptoms &
There are a variety of different skin cancer symptoms. These include changes in the skin that do not heal, ulcering in the skin, discolored skin, and changes in existing moles, such as jagged edges to the mole and enlargement of the mole.
- Merkel cell carcinomas: Most often rapidly growing, non-tender red, purple or skin colored bumps that are not painful or itchy.
- Squamous cell carcinoma: Commonly a red, scaling, thickened patch on sun-exposed skin. Some are firm hard nodules and dome shaped like keratoacanthomas.
- Basal cell carcinoma: Usually presents as a raised, smooth, pearly bump on the sun-exposed skin of the head, neck or shoulders. Sometimes small blood vessels (called telangiectasia) can be seen within the tumor.
- Melanoma: Most melanomas consist of various colors from shades of brown to black. A small amount of melanomas are pink, red or fleshy in color; these are called amelanotic melanomas which tend to be more aggressive. Warning signs of malignant melanoma include change in the size, shape, color or elevation of a mole. Other signs are the appearance of a new mole during adulthood or pain, itching, ulceration, redness around the site, or bleeding at the site.
Statistics: Skin Cancer
- An estimated 9,940 people will die of melanoma in 2015 (U.S.)
- Between 20% and 30% of melanomas develop from moles.
- One person dies of melanoma every hour (every 57 minutes).
- One in five Americans will develop skin cancer in the course of a lifetime.
- Globally in 2012 melanoma occurred in 232,000 people, and resulted in 55,000 deaths.
- An estimated 73,870 new cases of invasive melanoma will be diagnosed in the US in 2015.
- Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer, globally accounting for at least 40% of cases.
- Greater than 90% of skin cancer cases are caused by exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the Sun.
- Of non-melanoma skin cancers, about 80% are basal cell cancers and 20% squamous cell cancers.
- Melanoma accounts for less than two percent of skin cancer cases, but the vast majority of skin cancer deaths.
- Each year there are more new cases of skin cancer than the combined incidence of cancers of the breast, prostate, lung and colon.
- Individuals who have used tanning beds 10 or more times in their lives have a 34 percent increased risk of developing melanoma compared to those who have never used tanning beds.
- Just one indoor tanning session increases users' chances of developing melanoma by 20 percent, and each additional session during the same year boosts the risk almost another two percent.
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