Skin Cancer

The dangers of skin cancers and melanoma are well known but often ignored. Because 40 to 50 percent of Americans who live to age 65 will be diagnosed with a non-melanoma skin cancer at least once here are the facts.

This information is provided for a better understanding of the disease and does not replace the dialogue you should have with your physician regarding screening and treatment for skin cancer and melanoma.

What is the skin?

The skin is the largest organ of the body. It covers the internal organs and protects them from injury, serves as a barrier to germs such as bacteria, and helps prevent fluid loss. The skin helps control body temperature and gets rid of certain body wastes. Cells in the skin communicate with the brain and allow temperature, touch, and pain sensations.

How many people get skin cancer?

Skin cancer is the most common of all cancers. It accounts for nearly half of all cancers in the United States. More than 3.5 million cases of basal and squamous cell skin cancer are diagnosed in this country each year. Melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer, will account for about 74,000 cases of skin cancer in 2015.

Adapted from Mayo Clinic.org, Cancer.org, SkinCancer.org, epa.gov/sunwise/statefacts.html, AimAtMelanoma.org and Melanoma.org

The following information is provided for a better understanding of the disease and does not replace the conversation you should have with your physician regarding screening and treatment for cancer.