How Common Is Skin Cancer
You may think places with sunnier, hotter weather have more cases of skin cancer. This isnt necessarily the case. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes California and Florida had fewer cases per 100,000 people than states with cooler climates, like Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho, in 2015.
The states with the fewest cases of skin cancer are:
States with the most cases of skin cancer include:
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In 2012, breast cancer was the most frequently diagnosed cancer in Ontario women. But did you know that there are many things you can do to help decrease your risk?
Cervical cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer for Ontario women ages 20 to 44 but its also one of the most preventable.
Colorectal cancer is the fourth most commonly diagnosed cancer in Ontario. But with proper screening and healthy choices you can help reduce your risk.
Kidney cancer is the eleventh most commonly diagnosed cancer in Ontario. But if you know your risk factors, there are things you can do to reduce your odds of developing kidney cancer.
Overall, lung cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer in Ontario and the most common cause of cancer-related death. The good news? Theres a lot you can do to help prevent it.
Melanoma of the skin is the seventh most common type of cancer diagnosed in Ontario but it is largely preventable. Do you know if youre at risk? Take our Melanoma Risk Assessment and find out.
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What Age Does Skin Cancer Commonly Develop
The older you get, the higher your chance for developing skin cancer. About half of all Americans will develop either BCC or SCC at least once by the time theyre 65. The average age of a melanoma diagnosis is 63 , notes the American Cancer Society.
But melanoma is also one of the most frequently occurring cancers in young adults, especially women. Overall, melanoma occurs more frequently in women than in men before age 50. By age 65, twice as many men than women have melanoma. Rates triple by age 80.
Long-term exposure to the suns UV rays increases a persons chances of developing skin cancer. Artificial UV light, as found in indoor tanning beds, is also a culprit. It accounts for approximately of skin cancer each year in the United States, estimates a 2014 review and meta-analysis.
The Skin Cancer Foundation goes on to report that indoor tanning beds
- 0.10 percent for African-Americans
In their lifetime, 1 in 27 white men and 1 in 42 white women will develop melanoma, says the Skin Cancer Foundation .
While skin cancer is more common in white people, this population also has the best rate of survival. People of Hispanic, Asian, Native American, Pacific Islander, and African descent follow.
The of melanoma for white people with skin cancer is 94 percent, compared to only 69 percent survival in black people, notes the American Cancer Society.
Other reasons for the discrepancy include that nearly say they werent trained on diagnosing cancer on black skin.
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Rate Of Skin Cancer Is On The Rise
Rates of all skin cancers are rising, and melanoma rates have been rising rapidly in the United States in the last 30 years, said Dr. Peebles. Melanoma is the second most common form of cancer in women age 15 to 29 years old.
And women younger than 30 years old are six times more likely to develop melanoma if they tan indoors versus those who do not, Dr. Peebles added.
One of the interesting things to me about skin cancer is that we are not saying a whole lot of different things to decrease the risk and protect the skin, said Dr. Jones. Yet compliance and follow through is obviously not being heard, in some ways, because the incidence of skin cancer continues to rise.
Complementary And Alternative Treatments
It’s common for people with cancer to seek out complementary or alternative treatments. When used alongside your conventional cancer treatment, some of these therapies can make you feel better and improve your quality of life. Others may not be so helpful and in some cases may be harmful.
It is important to tell all your healthcare professionals about any complementary medicines you are taking. Never stop taking your conventional treatment without consulting your doctor first.
All treatments can have side effects. These days, new treatments are available that can help to make many side effects much less severe than they were in the past.
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Protect Yourself & Look Great
- Avoid tanning entirely: Its the best way to safeguard against unhealthy, unsightly skin damage.
- Fake, dont bake: If you want a golden glow, consider sunless tanning products. There are many options that can give you a bronzed look, but you still need sun protection!
- Tone, dont tan: Get radiant skin by doing aerobic or high-intensity exercises. Working out feels good and boosts your mood.
- Hydrate, eat great: Drink lots of water and choose whole, unprocessed foods. Your skin will thank you!
Make healthy skin a way of life. Get the details here: Your Daily Sun Protection Guide
Can Black People Prevent Skin Cancer
You can take the following steps in your day-to-day life to help prevent skin cancer:
- Choose shade. Exposure to UV rays causes many types of skin cancer. Because of this, try to stay out of direct sunlight if youre outside.
- Steer clear of certain times. Try to avoid being outside when the sun is strongest, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Instead, aim to be outside either earlier or later in the day.
- Wear sunscreen. If youre going to be out in the sun, make sure to wear sunscreen. Some tips for this include:
- Select a water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.
- Apply your sunscreen about 15 to 30 minutes before sun exposure. This allows it to better soak into your skin.
- Dont forget to put sunscreen on areas like the tops of the feet, ears, and back of the neck.
- Reapply your sunscreen every 2 hours or after sweating or swimming.
Skin cancer is often diagnosed in its later stages in Black people. Because of this, the outlook can sometimes be poorer.
Later diagnosis may be due to a variety of different factors, such as:
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Living As A Basal Or Squamous Cell Skin Cancer Survivor
For most people with basal or squamous cell skin cancers, treatment will remove or destroy the cancer. Completing treatment can be both stressful and exciting. You may be relieved to finish treatment, but find it hard not to worry about cancer growing or coming back. This is very common if youve had cancer.
For a small number of people with more advanced skin cancers, the cancer may never go away completely. These people may get regular treatment with radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or other treatments to help keep the cancer in check for as long as possible. Learning to live with cancer that does not go away can be difficult and very stressful.
How Is Skin Cancer Treated
Treatment depends upon the stage of cancer. Stages of skin cancer range from stage 0 to stage IV. The higher the number, the more cancer has spread.
Sometimes a biopsy alone can remove all the cancer tissue if the cancer is small and limited to your skins surface only. Other common skin cancer treatments, used alone or in combination, include:
Cryotherapy uses liquid nitrogen to freeze skin cancer. The dead cells slough off after treatment. Precancerous skin lesions, called actinic keratosis, and other small, early cancers limited to the skins top layer can be treated with this method.
This surgery involves removing the tumor and some surrounding healthy skin to be sure all cancer has been removed.
With this procedure, the visible, raised area of the tumor is removed first. Then your surgeon uses a scalpel to remove a thin layer of skin cancer cells. The layer is examined under a microscope immediately after removal. Additional layers of tissue continue to be removed, one layer at a time, until no more cancer cells are seen under the microscope.
Mohs surgery removes only diseased tissue, saving as much surrounding normal tissue as possible. Its most often used to treat basal cell and squamous cell cancers and near sensitive or cosmetically important areas, such as eyelids, ears, lips, forehead, scalp, fingers or genital area.
Curettage and electrodesiccation
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Risk Of Further Melanomas
Most people treated for early melanoma do not have further trouble with the disease. However, when there is a chance that the melanoma may have spread to other parts of your body, you will need regular check-ups.
Your doctor will decide how often you will need check-ups everyone is different. They will become less frequent if you have no further problems.
After treatment for melanoma it is important to limit exposure to the sun’s UV radiation. A combination of sun protection measures should be used during sun protection times .
As biological family members usually share similar traits, your family members may also have an increased risk of developing melanoma and other skin cancers. They can reduce their risk by spending less time in the sun and using a combination of sun protection measures during sun protection times.
It is important to monitor your skin regularly and if you notice any changes in your skin, or enlarged lymph glands near to where you had the cancer, see your specialist as soon as possible.
Can You Prevent Skin Cancer
Your best shot at preventing skin cancer is to protect yourself from the damaging rays of the sun by doing the following:
- Protect your skin with sunblock
- Wear tight-weave clothing, and a wide-brimmed hat
- Avoid the outdoors or find shade when the sun is most intense
- Stay out of the sun when taking certain medications
- Never use a tanning bed
You cant always prevent skin cancer. But regular skin checks can help you catch it early. The faster its diagnosed and treated, the easier it is to cure.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Vital Signs: Melanoma Incidence and Mortality Trends and Projections — United States, 1982-2030.
American Cancer Society: Cancer Facts & Figures 2016.
American Cancer Society: Melanoma Skin Cancer.
National Cancer Institute: What is Cancer?
Mayo Clinic: Diseases and Conditions, Skin cancer.
Mayo Clinic: Melanoma.
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Can Other People Of Color Get Skin Cancer
Its possible for other People of Color to develop skin cancer as well. Its associated with the same types of risks as in Black people.
Compared with white people, the rate of skin cancer in other People of Color is lower. However, its higher than in Black people. For example, according to data from the CDC, in 2018 there were:
- 5 melanoma cases per 100,000 Native American or Alaska Native people
- 4 melanoma cases per 100,000 Latino people
- 1 melanoma cases per 100,000 Asian and Pacific Islander people
There are several types of skin cancer. Its possible that some types may be more common in certain People of Color than in others.
Skin Cancer: Facts Statistics And You
Skin cancer refers to any cancer that begins in your skin. It may develop on any part of your skin and can spread to nearby tissues and organs if the disease advances.
There are two main types of skin cancer:
- Keratinocyte cancer develops in skin cells called keratinocytes. It has two main subtypes, basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma .
- Melanoma develops in skin melanocyte cells. Melanocytes are skin cells that generate skins brown pigment.
Other types of skin cancer include:
- Merkel cell carcinoma
most common form of cancer in the United States. More people receive skin cancer diagnoses each year in the United States than all other cancers combined, including breast, prostate, lung, and colon cancer.
Each case of skin cancer is considered unique if a doctor believes its a separate cancer. A person may have multiple different types and cases of skin cancer.
Each year, more than 3 million Americans are affected by BCC or SCC, estimates the American Academy of Dermatology. Having one skin cancer diagnosis puts you at a for having another, too, but there are preventive measures you can take.
Here are the main types of skin cancer:
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Cancer Occurrence At Older Ages
Life expectancy and the percentage of the U.S. population that is surviving at older ages has increased dramatically over the last century. In 1900, the average life expectancy from birth was 47 years in 2011, life expectancy from birth was about 76 years for men and 81 years for women. Just since 1960, life expectancy at age 65 years has increased by 5 years. Life expectancy also shifts upward as people survive to older ages . For example, in 2011, men aged 65 years were expected to live another 18 years , whereas women aged 65 years were expected to live another 20 years . More than half of the adults aged 85 years in 2011 can expect to live at least another 6 years. During 2010â2050, the number of adults aged 85 years and older in the U.S. is projected to grow from 5.5 million to 19 million.
What Are The Chances Of Surviving Skin Cancer
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Early Detection Changes Survival Risk
Especially with squamous cell cancers and melanomas, early detection changes your survival risk, said Dr. Jones, noting that those are the two skin cancers that can cause death.
If detected early, the five-year survival rate for melanoma is 99%, she added. But if it progresses beyond the very top layer of the skin, depending on the depth you have a much higher risk of it becoming metastatic and leading to death.
What Are The Symptoms Of Skin Cancer In Black People
The main symptom of skin cancer is a change in an area of skin. This sounds very general, so lets dive deeper into some general qualities to look for.
Not all skin cancers appear the same. Its possible that a cancerous area could have one, a few, or all the characteristics listed below.
Whats important is that you make an appointment with a dermatologist if you have concerns about a certain area. They can evaluate the area to help determine whether it may be skin cancer.
Also Check: Scalp Melanoma Stages
Midlife As A Critical Period In The Life Course For Cancer Risk And Prevention
Cancer development is a complex process that occurs over a span of many years. A life course approach,, is particularly well suited to understanding the contributions of various cancer risk factors over a personâs life span. As Rando observed, the biologic processes of aging are mysterious and highly variable. Aging is influenced by genetically determined processes but also can be modified by environmental influences.,, For example, cigarette smoke is thought to accelerate the aging process.
When applied to cancer research, the life course approach has been used to examine the influence of prenatal and early life events on cancer development in adulthood., A recent federal, interagency report on breast cancer research, for example, highlighted evidence that exposures that cause molecular and cellular changes in mammary tissue during puberty or earlier can influence breast cancer development many years later. The finding that breast cancer incidence rates fell after the decline in the use of hormone replacement therapy at menopause suggests that critical periods for breast cancer development also exist later in life. In addition, opportunities may exist to intervene at midlife to alter or reverse disease processes that were initiated at earlier life stages.
There Is Risk In Every Season
Just because it’s not summer and you’re not playing volleyball on a beach doesn’t mean that you’re not at risk of sun damage, which can result in a heightened risk of not only skin cancer but also cosmetic concerns such as fine lines, wrinkles, and discoloration, among others, said Dr. Peebles. Whenever the sun is shining, that risk is there.
Also, dont forget that water, sand and snow reflect the sun really well onto your skin, Dr. Peebles said. Even in the peak of winter after a big snowstorm, its still possible to get a sunburn and its still possible to get those UVA-based aging issues over time.
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