The Skin Cancer Foundation Journal

MAY 2013

The 2012 edition of The Skin Cancer Foundation Journal features medically reviewed, reader-friendly articles such as tanning, the increasing incidence of skin cancer diagnoses among young women, & the prevalence of melanoma among white males over 50.

Issue link: http://skincancer.epubxp.com/i/131479

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Skin Cancer Prevention Strategies: TRIED, TRUE, & NEW RONALD L. MOY, MD, AND SHANNON FAMENINI BY THE NUMBErS #1 Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the US. 2,000,000 In 2013, more than two million people will be diagnosed with nonmelanoma skin cancers (NMSC) 77,000 In 2013, almost 77,000 will develop potentially deadly melanomas. $1.4 BillioN The total direct cost associated with the treatment for NMSC, primarily basal and squamous cell carcinomas, was $1.4 billion in 2004. s kin cancer is the most common cancer in the US. In 2013, more than two million people will be diagnosed with nonmelanoma skin cancers (NMSC),1 and almost 77,000 will develop potentially deadly melanomas.2 The total direct cost associated with the treatment for NMSC, primarily basal and squamous cell carcinomas, was $1.4 billion in 2004.3 Risk factors for skin cancer include fair complexion, weakened or suppressed immune systems, family history and genetic predisposition, having many moles or any atypical moles, and a history of sunburns or skin cancer.4 Overall risk increases with age and ultraviolet (UV) radiation exposure. Additionally, some people simply have decreased DNA repair capability. For example, xeroderma pigmentosum patients have a rare genetic defect that prevents their DNA repair enzymes from undoing the damage caused by UV radiation, leaving them highly vulnerable to skin cancers. Despite all these potential risk factors, skin cancer remains one of the most preventable diseases. The vast majority of the time, it can be avoided by protecting the skin from UV radiation emitted by the sun and tanning machines. Some effective protection methods include avoiding UV tanning; shade-seeking, especially between 10 AM and 4 PM; wearing protective clothing, and using sunscreen. There are also many other effective forms of skin cancer prevention. Everyone should be aware of the following tried and true or new prevention methods. PREVENTION STRATEGY: suNscrEEN usE Sunscreens protect against skin cancer by defecting or absorbing UV radiation, keeping it from reaching the skin and causing DNA damage. Consistent sunscreen use has been shown to result in significantly fewer new precancers, squamous cell carcinomas, and melanomas.5,6 Although most public health agencies recommend reapplying sunscreen every 2-3 hours, one study showed that doing a frst reapplication after 20 minutes outdoors signifcantly reduces UV exposure.6 Some experts now recommend applying sunscreen both 30 minutes before UV exposure, and again after 15 to 30 minutes of continuous UV exposure. Further reapplications should be done after another two hours outdoors, or immediately after swimming or heavy sweating. 51

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