skin cancer

Common Mistakes In Self-Diagnosing Skin Cancer

When it comes to melanoma, the world's most serious type of skin cancer, early detection is imperative. We recommend doing a thorough at-home skin exam. Pay close attention to new and old moles, freckles and spots that seem to be changing in size, shape and/or color.

Below are some common mistakes in self-diagnosing skin cancer, as well as knowing the types of skin markings on the body, called the ABCDE's of Melanoma. 

 

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5 Key Facts About Skin Cancer

1. Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States.

2. An estimated one in five Americans will develop one of the types of skin cancer (such as melanoma) by age 70.

3. People of all ages can get skin cancer.

4. Skin cancer is most common in people older than 50 and who have a family history of skin cancer. 

5. Most skin cancers can be cured if they're caught early.

*These facts were published on the Skin Cancer Foundation website. 

Indoor Tanning Is Addictive | Sun Safe Study

Earlier this year, The Skin Cancer Foundation published an article highlighting a new study on tanning beds. The study, published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, discovered "one in five young white women who have used a tanning bed in the past year exhibit signs of dependence on the activity."

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The participants in the study labeled as 'addicted' strongly believed in the mood-boosting benefits they experienced after an indoor tanning session. They explained how it made them look better and feel great. These 'addicted' women showed signs of depression when the tan faded. 

Indoor tanning has been around for decades. In 2010, the indoor tanning industry's revenue was estimated to be $2.6 billion. 

Here are some shocking statistics and facts on indoor tanning: 

1. Out of the 28 million people who tan indoors, 2.3 million are teens.

2. Melanoma rates have increased in the last three decades. About 76,100 US adults will be diagnosed with this type of cancer in 2014. About 9,710 are expected to die from the disease.

3. 58% of adolescent tanning bed users have burns due to constant exposure.

4. Using a tanning bed for 20 minutes is equivalent to spending one to three hours a day at the beach with no sun protection at all.

Our top tip: Opt for a sunless tanner spray or tinted sunscreen to achieve that faux-glow all summer long. Your skin will thank you. 

Conclusion: UV tanning can become addictive

The ABCDE's of Melanoma | Melanoma Awareness Month

When it comes to melanoma, the world's most serious type of skin cancer, early detection is imperative. 

Melanoma can be cured if found and treated early. 

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Here are the types of skin markings on the body to look for in an easy way to remember we call, the ABCDE's of Melanoma: 

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A- ASYMMETRICAL SHAPE: MELANOMA LESIONS ARE OFTEN IRREGULAR, OR NOT SYMMETRICAL, IN SHAPE. BENIGN MOLES ARE USUALLY SYMMETRICAL.

B- BORDER: TYPICALLY, NON-CANCEROUS MOLES HAVE SMOOTH, EVEN BORDERS. MELANOMA LESIONS USUALLY HAVE IRREGULAR BORDERS THAT ARE DIFFICULT TO DEFINE.

C- COLOR: THE PRESENCE OF MORE THAN ONE COLOR (BLUE, BLACK, BROWN, TAN, ETC.) OR THE UNEVEN DISTRIBUTION OF COLOR CAN SOMETIMES BE A WARNING SIGN OF MELANOMA. BENIGN MOLES ARE USUALLY A SINGLE SHADE OF BROWN OR TAN.

D- DIAMETER: MELANOMA LESIONS ARE OFTEN GREATER THAN 6 MILLIMETERS IN DIAMETER (APPROXIMATELY THE SIZE OF A PENCIL ERASER).

E- EVOLUTION: THE EVOLUTION OF YOUR MOLE(S) HAS BECOME THE MOST IMPORTANT FACTOR TO CONSIDER WHEN IT COMES TO DIAGNOSING A MELANOMA. KNOWING WHAT IS NORMAL FOR YOU COULD SAVE YOUR LIFE. IF A MOLE HAS GONE THROUGH RECENT CHANGES IN COLOR AND/OR SIZE, BRING IT TO THE ATTENTION OF A DERMATOLOGIST IMMEDIATELY. 

If you see one or more of these markings on your skin, make an appointment with a dermatologist immediately. Catching melanoma early can make the difference between life and death. See your dermatologist regularly for skin screenings. 

You can also use the Ugly Duckling test to spot any suspicious markings on the body. If you're seeing a mole or marking that doesn't look like the rest, then that's a red flag. Get your skin checked immediately by a dermatologist

Please note: Not all melanomas fall within the ABCDE parameters so visit your dermatologist regularly to catch any potential issues early.

SHOP your UV Wristbands and Stickers to help keep your family protected all summer long!

 

Key Facts on Melanoma | Sunburn Alert

May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month. Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States, accounting for over 5 million cases each year. Fortunately, this type of skin cancer is very preventable.  

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READ: Spotting Suspicious Moles

The American Cancer Society has estimated the number of melanoma cases in the United States for 2018: 

  • About 91,270 new melanomas will be diagnosed (about 55,150 in men and 36,120 in women).
  • About 9,320 people are expected to die of melanoma (about 5,990 men and 3,330 women).

Want to know exactly HOW to stay sun protected this summer? Here are our top four tips:

  1. Wear sunscreen: This is an obvious one. Apply after cleansing and before makeup about 15 minutes before going outside. 
  2. Reapply: This is forgotten by most people. Apply your sunscreen every two hours. 
  3. Wear protective attire: This includes hats, UV protected clothing and sunglasses. 
  4. Stay out of the sun: Make sure to seek shade when possible! 

Source: The American Cancer Society

Back-to-School Sun Safety Tips

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School is back in session, but that doesn't mean it's time to toss aside your sun protected items for next summer. During a typical school day, it's very common for children to receive a significant amount of sun exposure, particularly during recess. 

According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, five or more suburbs in youth increases lifestyle melanoma risk by 80 percent.The sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays are also associated with 86 percent of melanomas and about 90 percent of non-melanoma skin cancers.

Below are three recommendations for keeping your children safe while in school: 

1. Hat: Pack a hat in your child's school bag. This will help protect their head, face and neck from the sun. 

2. Clothing: Remember, the more skin you cover, the better. Opt for UPF protective clothing as well. UV Skinz offers a great line for babies and toddlers. 

3. Sunscreen: Apply sunscreen on your child in the morning before heading outside to catch the bus. If your school allows students to wear sunscreen*, opt to bring in some UV Stickers & Wristbands so your child's class can all enjoy them! 

*Please note: "Many schools don’t allow students to use sunscreen or wear a hat outdoors during the school day without written permission from a physician. The Skin Cancer Foundation has created a sun protection form that parents and doctors can sign, allowing students to bring these items to school, apply and use as needed. The form is available at www.skincancer.org/schoolnote."

Source: The Skin Cancer Foundation

5 Surprising Skin Cancer Facts Everyone Needs To Know

According to The American Cancer Society, skin cancer is by far the most common type of cancer. Below are 5 surprising skin cancer facts everyone needs to know this summer: 

1. Exposure to tanning beds increases the risk of melanoma, especially in women 45 and younger.

2. Even one blistering sunburn during childhood or adolescence can nearly double a person's chance of developing melanoma. 

3. Melanoma survivors have an approximately nine-fold increased risk of developing another melanoma compared to the general population.

4. Men and women with a history of nonmelanoma skin cancer are at a higher risk of developing melanoma than people without a nonmelanoma skin cancer history. 

5. Before age 50, melanoma incidence rates are higher in women than in men, but by age 65, rates are twice as high in men. 

Credit: AAD

NEWS: CBS' Norah O’Donnell Opens Up About Skin Cancer

CBS morning anchor, Norah O'Donnell, recently opened up on being diagnosed with skin cancer. During an overdue dermatologist appointment last year, O'Donnell's doctor identified two spots on her back. The doctor then performed a biospy on O'Donnell. 

Shortly after, O'Donnell found out she had melanoma on her upper back. 

She told PEOPLE Magazine, “I was like, ‘Oh, my god. But [the doctor] said, ‘It’s 100 percent curable. The good news is we caught it early, but as soon as you can I want to see you and we got to take it out with a pretty significant incision. It will be deep and will be stitches.’ So the really good news is that they caught it early and they treat it very aggressively. They make a big cut to make sure there’s nothing else around it and not becoming invasive.”

She stated, "I went back in the beginning of January and had the incision done. It was three layers of stitches — like 20 in all. It was a pretty big cut and the good news is the margins were clear. It’s scary. It’s the first time, medically, that something happens to you that scares you.”

“It was really a wake up call to me. My husband was very concerned. My kids were really worried. My 9-year-old son said to me, ‘Well, is there any chance you can die from this surgery?’ And I was like, ‘No. No. No,’ ” admits O’Donnell. “Not being able to workout for six weeks was one of the hardest things. I was distraught. It also made me realize how much exercise is tied to mental health. I really was down in the dumps over the diagnoses and then not being able to exercise had a big affect on my mood.”

“I grew up in San Antonio, Texas. I ran track, I was a cheerleader and I went to a tanning salon. That was in the days before spray tans. Now, I wear 50 or 70, I use spray tan or self-tanner. But that wasn’t around when I was 20 years old.”

O'Donnell's top piece of advice: “I think getting skin checks isn’t at the top of everybody’s list. We delay our preventive care. Preventative care is so important in catching this stuff early. I have to go back every four months now. I just went back and they took off two more things, including a spot underneath the scar. They both came back totally benign, but I’m under close surveillance.”

 

Study: Banning Teens From Tanning Could Save Lives

The risks are greater the younger you start and the more often you tan. Indoor tanning before age 35 increases your risk of developing melanoma by nearly 60 percent, according to a 2012 study.

A recent study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology determined banning minors from using tanning beds could prevent almost ~62,000 cases of melanoma, 6,700 melanoma deaths, and $343 million in treatment costs. A total ban on indoor tanning could prevent nearly 203,000 melanoma cases and 23,000 melanoma deaths, and save $1.1 billion in melanoma treatment costs.

READ: More Tanning Bed Facts

Andy Cohen Reveals Melanoma Scare

American talk show and radio host, Any Cohen, revealed on Friday, November 25th, he was diagnosed with melanoma earlier this year.

While co-hosting on LIVE! With Kelly, Cohen told Ripa, "I had this black dot on my bottom lip [and] you and I were at a a party for Anderson [Cooper]'s mom in April, and you said, 'You have a black dot on your lip. I don't think that's something good."

"Finally I did and it was melanoma," Cohen said. "They removed it—the whole thing—and I just want to thank you."

"I love the sun, I really do, but just be careful," Cohen stated. "And I, of course, never thought that that kind of thing would happen to me, and it will change my relationship to the sun. But you really helped me out there, and thank you for staying on me. I'm just really grateful that you did that."

Don't forget to stay sun safe all year long!