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9 Skin Cancer Myths: Separating Fact from Fiction

By HERWriter
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skin cancer myths Via Pexels, edited by Kaitlyn Thompson

When it comes to skin cancer, there are many myths. How many of them have you heard and believed? Here we separate the facts from fiction.

1) Myth:

Tanning beds are safer than tanning outdoors.


Common indoor tanning beds may give out as much as 12 times the annual ultraviolet A dose as sun exposure does, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation. The U.S. News & World Report states that one indoor tanning session can increase the risk of melanoma by 20 percent.

2) Myth:

Suspicious moles can always be cut off before turning cancerous.


Sometimes, what seems to be a chronic sore or a mole that has changed in size or color is actually more serious by the time those changes have occurred. They could be precursors to skin cancer, warns The American Society for Dermatologic Surgery.

3) Myth:

People with many moles are the only ones at higher risk of skin cancer.


Nobody is exempt. Everyone needs to be on guard for any changes in individual moles or skin spots, U.S. News reports.

4) Myth:

It isn’t possible to get sun damage on a cloudy day.


Up to 80 percent of the sun’s UV rays are able to penetrate clouds and fog, states the Skin Cancer Foundation.

5) Myth:

Base tans are healthy and shield the skin from sun damage.


A base tan may delay sunburn, but it doesn’t prevent damage from ultraviolet radiation. When a body tans, it’s trying to defend itself against ultraviolet radiation exposure by increasing the skin’s pigment, MD Anderson Cancer Center cautions.

6) Myth:

People of color aren’t at risk of skin cancer.


Naturally dark people do have a much lower risk of skin cancer than fair-skinned people, but they are not immune to the disease. If they experience overexposure to the sun, malignancies can still develop and they can suffer different forms of UV damage.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.