Skin cancer is one of the leading causes of death in the United States today.
Are you taking proper preventative measures? Does your doctor have your back? Who’s got your back?
CBS news reports on skin cancer.
Summer is just around the corner and countless Americans will be soaking in the sun. But what measures should they be taking to protect themselves against skin cancer?
Sun exposure is known as the biggest cause of melanoma. And melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer.
“The American Academy of Dermatology points out that the back is the most common place on the body for melanoma to develop, and because it's a difficult area for a person to see, skin cancers on the back are often discovered later and require more extensive treatment,” according to CBS. The group has actually begun to call May 4th Melanoma Day; their objective is to raise awareness.
Expert dermatologists are advising Americans to put on a water resistant sunscreen before going outside in the sun, with a SPF of at least 30, preferably even higher than 30. They are particularly emphasizing the importance of people putting it all over their backs, an area that is commonly accidentally ignored, not covered enough and cancers there are detected later as they often go unnoticed.
The research team led a study that was conducted by the group.
What were the results?
They found that 37 percent of people barely ever or never apply sunscreen to their back when it's exposed to the sun, and 43 percent rarely or never ask anyone to help put sunscreen to their back. Men were two times as likely as women to say that they did not feel comfortable asking anyone to apply sunscreen on their backs.
Academy president and board-certified dermatologist Mark Lebwohl, MD, said in a press statement,
“Find someone you're comfortable with -- like a significant other, friend or relative -- and ask them to apply sunscreen to your back. Or even better, stay in the shade and wear clothing that covers your back.”
The American Cancer Society says that over 3.5 million people are diagnosed with skin cancer in the United States every year. Most of the cases involve basal or squamous cell skin cancer, which can usually be removed before they spread; however around 73,000 Americans each year are diagnosed with melanoma, which can lead to death.
The new campaign’s logo is ‘Who’s got your back?’.
The American Academy of Dermatology hopes this will finally help bring the type of awareness that they have been trying to spark for decades now. They feel that awareness is one of the most important steps towards skin cancer prevention.