Four Tips for Preventing Skin Cancer and Keeping Skin Healthy

The Skin Cancer Foundation Logo

The Skin Cancer Foundation Logo

The Skin Cancer Foundation
Published: Monday, December 24, 2012 at 11:26 AM.

Adopting healthy skin habits in 2013 could save your life. Thousands of people in the United States die each year from skin cancer, a highly preventable and treatable disease. Skin cancer can affect anyone, regardless of age or skin color, which is why making skin health a priority should be on everyone’s list of New Year’s Resolutions.

With an easy to remember acronym, S.K.I.N., The Skin Cancer Foundation is proposing four simple steps for keeping skin cancer prevention and skin health top of mind in 2013 and beyond: Skip the tanning bed, Keep up with skin exams, Ignore the myths, and Never skimp on sun protection.

Skip the tanning bed

New research findings reveal that just one indoor UV tanning session increases the risk of melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer, by 20 percent, and each additional session during the same year boosts the risk almost another 2 percent. Each year in the United States more than 9,000 people die of melanoma. Overall, indoor UV tanners are 74 percent more likely to develop melanoma than those who have never tanned indoors, and those who begin tanning before the age of 35 increase their melanoma risk by almost 90 percent.

Keep up with skin exams

Skin cancers found and removed early are almost always curable. The five-year survival rate for patients whose melanoma is detected early, before the tumor has penetrated the skin, is about 98 percent. The survival rate falls significantly when the disease has the chance to metastasize (spread) throughout the body. Check your skin from head-to-toe each month, and visit a dermatologist annually for a professional skin exam. If you notice any change in an existing mole or discover a new one that looks suspicious, see a physician immediately. Visit to download a guide to self-exams and find a local dermatologist with the Foundation’s Physician Finder.

Ignore the myths (and learn the facts)

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