Tags: Study: | Skin | Cancer | Epidemic | Heating

Study: Skin Cancer Epidemic Is Heating Up

Tuesday, 18 April 2006 12:00 AM

The United States is in the middle of a of skin cancer epidemic, according to a report in the April issue of the Mayo Clinic Health Letter.

One in five Americans will develop skin cancer, and a person's risk of the disease doubles if he or she has had five or more sunburns, according to the Mayo statistics.

Basal and squamous cell carcinomas, the most common and treatable types of skin cancers, had long been considered a problem only for people over 50, according to the report.

But Mayo researchers report that percentage of women under 40 with the more common type, basal cell, tripled between 1976 and 2003, while the rate of squamous cell cancers increased 400 percent.

The researchers found that just 60% of the cancers they identified occurred on skin frequently exposed to the sun, such as the head and neck, rather than the normal 90%. Most of the remaining cancers were seen on the torso. The researchers suspect this may be due to more widespread use of tanning beds.

The Mayo report offers the following tips for effective sun protection:

--Apply sunscreen 30 minutes before you are going to be outside, even if the weather is cloudy or hazy.

--Spend as little time as possible in the direct sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

--Use about an ounce of sunscreen at a time and reapply it every two hours.

--Always wear sunglasses and a broad-brimmed hat, and protective clothing.

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The United States is in the middle of a of skin cancer epidemic, according to a report in the April issue of the Mayo Clinic Health Letter. One in five Americans will develop skin cancer, and a person's risk of the disease doubles if he or she has had five or more...
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Tuesday, 18 April 2006 12:00 AM
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