#ShareTheFacts: Skin Cancer Awareness Month
May is Skin Cancer Awareness month! According to the Skin Cancer Foundation (2020), over 5 million people are diagnosed in the United States with skin cancer every year, making it the most prevalent form of cancer. Skin cancer usually forms from exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light, often from sunlight or tanning beds. The UV light alters the skin's DNA so that it cannot properly control skin growth, leading to cancer (Gardner 2018).
Risks for Developing Skin Cancer
Time in the Sun
The more time spent in the sun, the more exposure you have to natural UV light. Having 5 or more sunburns doubles the risk of melanoma. Time spent under artificial UV rays, such as tanning beds, also increases skin cancer risk (Skin Cancer Foundation 2020).
Light Skin, Eyes, and Hair
Pigment in the skin protects your cells from UV rays...the more pigment, the more protection. However, those with darker skin can still develop skin cancer. Bottom line, you should practice sun protection regardless of your color of skin (Gardner 2018).
Warmer climates and higher elevation exposes people to higher amounts of natural UV rays. (Gardner 2018) You can always check the local weather for the UV index in your area.
As people age, their sun exposure continues to accumulate. Most non-melanoma cancers will show up after the age of 50 (Gerdner 2018). At least one in five Americans will develop skin cancer by the age of 70 (Skin Cancer Foundation 2020).
Given the prevelance of skin cancer, here are some preventive measures you can take to lessen your odds of developing skin cancer.
Skin cancer is the cancer you can see! Regularly plan skin exams at home and with a dermatologist (Skin Cancer Foundation 2020). More than 2 people die of skin cancer in the U.S. EVERY HOUR, but if caught early, the 5-year survival rate for melanoma is 99%.
Wear protective clothing, such as long-sleeved shirts and wide-brimmed hats.
Avoid the sun in the middle of the day. The sun's rays are strongest between 10 AM and 4 PM, even during the winter.
Wear sunscreen year round and on cloudy days.
Avoid tanning beds.
We have a lot of outdoors enthusiasts here at VeganMed, so we made sure that there were animal-free options for sunscreen available on our marketplace!
For more reading, check out VeganMed's Animal Ingredients list!
Thank you for your awareness and concern for animal-derived ingredients! If you have any further questions about ingredients in your medicines and supplements, feel free to reach out to the VeganMed team!
Gardner, Stephanie S. “Skin Cancer: What Are the Causes of Nonmelanoma?” WebMD, WebMD, 6 Aug. 2018, www.webmd.com/melanoma-skin-cancer/melanoma-guide/causes-skin-cancer#1.
Mayo Clinic Staff. “Skin Cancer.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 20 Feb. 2019, www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/skin-cancer/symptoms-causes/syc-20377605.
Skin Cancer Foundation. “Skin Cancer Awareness Month.” The Skin Cancer Foundation, 2020, www.skincancer.org/get-involved/skin-cancer-awareness-month/.