Skin Cancer

The Facts

  • Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. More than 3.5 million skin cancers in over two million people are diagnosed annually.
  • Each year there are more new cases of skin cancer than the combined incidence of cancers of the breast, prostate, lung and colon.
  • Over the past 31 years, more people have had skin cancer than all other cancers combined.

Protect Your Skin From the Sun

  • Using SPF lotion consistently & reapplying when necessary prevents damage to the skin.
  • Use sunglasses that block 99 to 100 percent of both UVA and UVB light. Ideally, they should also guard against HEV light. Learn more about protecting your eyes from the sun
  • When outdoors wear a large hat to shade your face, neck and ears.
  • Limit or avoid the sun from 10am to 4pm even on a cloudy day

Parents: Protect Your Children From the Sun

When you protect your children when they are young and you teach them good habits in the sun, you can substantially lower their risk of getting skin cancer.

To find a doctor or clinic for you or your child, call 311.

Learn about health insurance options for you and your family.

Learn the Warning Signs

  • A skin growth that increases in size and appears pearly, translucent, tan, brown, black, or multicolored
  • A mole, birthmark, beauty mark, or any brown spot that:
    • changes color
    • increases in size or thickness
    • changes in texture
    • is irregular in outline
    • is bigger than 6mm or 1/4”, the size of a pencil eraser
    • appears after age 21
  • A spot or sore that continues to itch, hurt, crust, scab, erode, or bleed
  • An open sore that does not heal within three weeks

Early Detection

  • Examine your skin regularly, and use a mirror for hard-to-reach places. Learn more about examining your skin
  • Learn the warning signs of skin cancer:
    • A = Asymmetry. Does one half of the mole look different than the other half?
    • B = Borders. Are the mole's edges ragged or not clearly defined?
    • C = Color. Is the mole more than one color?
    • D = Diameter. From edge to edge is the mole larger than 6 millimeters?
  • Go see a doctor immediately if you answer "Yes" to any of the questions above.

Most Skin Cancers are Curable When Found Early

  • 90% of early stage skin cancers can be removed!
  • Even the most serious form of skin cancer, called malignant melanoma, has a 5-year survival rate of more than 95% when found early!