The Skin Cancer Foundation Journal

MAY 2014

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.

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Page 65 of 103

S K I N C A N C E R F O U N D A T I O N J O U R N A L 64 or decades now, The Skin Cancer Foundation and other health educators have de- voted themselves to informing the public about the world's most common cancer. Yet more than 3.5 million cases are now diagnosed annually in the US, 1 and the fgures are still rising. We know what causes skin cancer in most people, and we know how to prevent it. So why does this epidemic keep growing? The Skin Cancer Enigma We know how to prevent it, yet incidence keeps rising. What's wrong with this picture? Heather Rogers, MD Health everal factors play a big part, including our aging population, tanning beds, the past inadequacies of sunscreen, and the difculties in changing well- entrenched behaviors and beliefs. Also, paradoxically, our increasing public awareness of skin cancer has itself con- tributed to the rising incidence. The Nation's Aging Skin I n the US, people age 65 and over have the greatest inci- dence of skin cancer; 40-50 percent of them develop at least one skin cancer in their lifetime. 2 And there are many more people 65 or over than there used to be. In 1950, they composed only 8.5 percent of the US population, but by 2012 this was up to 13.7 percent. 3 Today there are 40 mil- lion people in the US 65 and older. People are living longer, more active lives, increasing their lifetime sun exposure, and more sun exposure brings a higher cumulative risk for skin cancer; about 90 percent of nonmelanoma skin cancers 4 and 86 percent of melanomas 5 are associated with exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun. The number of nonmelanoma skin cancers in S

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