Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. Every year in New York City, nearly 1,000 people are diagnosed with the most serious form of skin cancer — melanoma. About one in 10 people with melanoma die from the disease.
Skin cancer can affect men and women of any age and any racial or ethnic group. Prevention and early detection are the best ways to keep skin cancer from harming you.
The top risk factor for most types of skin cancer is ultraviolet (UV) ray exposure. Sources of UV rays include sunlight and indoor tanning. UV rays can cause abnormal skin cell growth, which leads to skin cancers. People who get a lot of UV exposure have a greater risk of skin cancer.
You also may be more at risk for skin cancer if you have:
Here are some tips for avoiding harmful UV rays:
A mole on your body can be a warning sign of melanoma. The following ABCDE rule can help you know more about the warning signs of melanoma:
In general, if you notice any changes in your skin, you should discuss them with your health care provider.
If you are not showing any signs or symptoms of skin cancer, the Health Department does not recommend you get screened.