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Skin Cancer Is On The Rise Among Young Adults

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If you are like me, you’ll agree there is nothing quite like taking in some rays in the great outdoors. I’ll be the first to admit I can’t resist a day at the beach, but recently some disturbing news has made me more aware of protecting my skin.

The National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention and its member partner, American Cancer Society, report skin cancer is on the rise in the U.S, especially among 15- to 34-year-olds. Reports from British news echo those findings, calling skin cancer “the most common cancer diagnosis for young people.”

What was once considered a middle-aged or older person’s plight, malignant melanoma – the most dangerous type of skin cancer – has seen the number of diagnosed cases in young people double in the last 20 years.

The Environmental Protection Agency reports the 10 states with the highest number of new melanoma cases are Connecticut, Idaho, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Oregon, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont and Washington.

Many people believe they will jumpstart their tan by burning their skin, but this may be a recipe for disaster later on, says Dr. Jodie Moffatt, of Cancer Research UK.

"Getting a painful sunburn just once every two years can triple your chances of getting skin cancer," Moffatt says. “Damage that you do now increases your chances of getting cancer in 20 or so years time.”

Sadly, American Cancer Society estimates that one person in the U.S. dies every hour from skin cancer. It is estimated that this year 62,480 cases of malignant melanoma and more than one million cases of basal cell or squamous skin cancer will be diagnosed in the U.S.

Of course, skin cancers are caused by overexposure to ultraviolet or UV radiation, but who can blame us? A tanned appearance has become a sign of good health and status, fueling the increasing trends of sunbathing and use of tanning beds among young adults and women.

For a healthier approach, we might consider using a sunless self-tanning product and continuing to apply sunscreen to greatly reduce our skin cancer risk but maintain a blissful, sun-kissed appearance.

Add a Comment2 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

Hi azsunshinegirl, Your article is geat. The statistics you have mentioned are absolutely true.The American Cancer Society (ACS) says skin cancers account for nearly 50 percent of all cancers in America. The ACS estimates that in 2006, 59,940 cases of malignant melanoma and over 1 million cases of basal- and squamous-cell cancers were connected with exposure to ultraviolet rays.To know more about the above information,visit the following link,
Thanks for the substantial information.

August 11, 2009 - 5:52am
(reply to Anonymous)

Thank you for you comment. Knowledge is power. Each of us can incorporate easy-to-do things into our lifestyle to lower our risk of developing serious illnesses or conditions later in life.

August 11, 2009 - 7:39am
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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.

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