Infographic: Skin Cancer

More Fun, Less Sun

Know how to spot skin cancer and protect yourself.

Skin cancers are the most common cancer, and the majority of cases are linked to ultraviolet (UV) light usually from sun exposure.

  • 90% of skin cancers are linked to sun exposure.
  • 5.4 million new cases per year in the U.S.
  • 1 in 5 people will have skin cancer at some point in their lives

Types of skin cancer.

Basal cell carcinoma (BCC)

  • Most common form of skin cancer
  • More than 4 million cases are diagnosed in the U.S. each year
  • Least fatal
  • Treatment: Usually minor surgery or local treatment

Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC)

  • Second most common form of skin cancer
  • More than 1 million cases are diagnosed in the U.S. each year
  • More fatal than BCC
  • Treatment: Surgery, chemotherapy, and/or radiation therapy

Melanoma

  • Accounts for 1% of skin cancers
  • 87,000 cases are diagnosed in the U.S. each year
  • One of the most fatal skin cancers (~9,000 deaths each year)
  • Treatment: Surgery, chemotherapy, and/or radiation therapy

You may be at increased risk of skin cancer if you:

  • Have fair skin
  • Have a history of sunburns
  • Spend a lot of time in the sun
  • Live in a sunny or high-altitude location
  • Have a large number of moles
  • Used a tanning bed

You can reduce your risk of skin cancer.

  • Avoid UV rays

    Stay out of the midday sun and tanning beds.

  • Apply sunscreen

    Wear it year-round whatever the activity.

  • Wear protective clothing

    Hats, long sleeves and sunglasses with UV protection.

  • Check yourself

    See a doctor if you notice a spot that is new, changing or unusual; bleeds and doesn't heal; or is sensitive to touch.

Sources: MayoClinic.org; Cancer.org; SkinCancer.org.

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