Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States. It’s also one of the most easily preventable types of cancer known to man – all it takes is adequate sun protection. But you probably already know these skin cancer tidbits. Here are 10 skin cancer facts you probably didn’t know:
1. Skin cancer can kill you.
It’s no secret, but you probably didn’t know it – skin cancer is a fatal disease, much like any cancer. Certain types of skin cancer are more deadly than others, with melanoma being the most dangerous of the bunch.
Melanoma is the most common cancer affecting young adults between 25 and 29 years old. 86 percent of melanoma cases are caused by exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays. While there is a 98% 5-year survival rate in the United States among patients whose melanomas have been detected early, one person dies from this disease every hour. It is estimated that nearly 10,000 people will die from it in 2015. Together with liver and esophageal cancer, melanoma is causing increased mortality in men over the past few years.
Squamous cell and basal cell carcinoma are less deadly than melanoma, but could still be fatal without immediate treatment. 90 percent of non-melanoma skin cancers are due to sun exposure. In 2012, two percent of reported squamous cell carcinoma cases in the United States resulted in death. Meanwhile, advanced basal cell carcinoma claims an average of 3,000 lives every year in America.