Facts & Stats

Vast majority of adults say they know the dangers of overexposure to the sun (85 percent) and believe skin cancer is a serious issue (91 percent). – Harris Interactive Survey, conducted by telephone May 6-9, 2005, 1,000 U.S. adults

  • The use of sunscreen went down by 12 percentage points2 over the past year-from 72 percent to 60 percent-with one in seven adults (14 percent) indicating that they do nothing to protect themselves in the sun. When asked why, one in three adults (35 percent) claim they simply forget. – Harris Interactive Survey, conducted by telephone May 6-9, 2005, 1,000 U.S. adults
  • Only 11 percent of adults say that they follow all the recommended sun safety guidelines whenever they go outdoors. – Harris Interactive Survey, conducted by telephone May 6-9, 2005, 1,000 U.S. adults
  • Four out of five adults (86 percent) believe that a suntan is not a sign of good health. However, half of those surveyed still believe that a suntan makes a person look more attractive. – Harris Interactive Survey, conducted by telephone May 6-9, 2005, 1,000 U.S. adults
  • Six in 10 adults say they know someone who has or had skin cancer. – Harris Interactive Survey, conducted by telephone May 6-9, 2005, 1,000 U.S. adults
  • Only 26 percent of adults are aware that one person dies every hour of skin cancer. – Harris Interactive Survey, conducted by telephone May 6-9, 2005, 1,000 U.S. adults
  • 43 percent of adults are unfamiliar with the UV Index. – Harris Interactive Survey, conducted by telephone May 6-9, 2005, 1,000 U.S. adults
  • 83% of adolescents reported having at least one sunburn during the previous summer. – pediatrics (Vol. 109, no. 6, June 2002)
  • 36% of adolescents had three or more sunburns during the previous summer. – pediatrics (Vol. 109, no. 6, June 2002)
  • One in 10 adolescents had used a tanning bed during the previous year. – pediatrics (Vol. 109, no. 6, June 2002)
  • Only 1 in 3 adolescents (age 12-18) routinely used sunscreen during the previous summer. – pediatrics (Vol. 109, no. 6, June 2002)
  • One blistering sunburn can double a child’s lifetime risk of skin cancer. – NAPS
  • Melanoma, the deadliest kind of skin cancer, kills one person each hour. – Sun Safety Alliance, May, 2005
  • Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States today. The number of skin cancer cases in the United States, estimated to be 1.3 million this year, exceeds the total number of breast, lung, prostate and colon cancer cases combined. – Sun Safety Alliance, May, 2005
  • During the past 10 years the number of cases of melanoma has increased more rapidly than that of any other cancer. Over 51,000 new cases are reported to the American Cancer Society each year, and it is probable that a great many more occur and are not reported. – Skin Cancer Foundation, 2003
  • Over the past two years, the number of Americans using sunscreen, a primary protector against skin cancer, has declined decreased from 72 percent to 60 percent over two years, with one in eight adults (13 percent) indicating that they do nothing to protect themselves in the sun More than half of those surveyed (52 percent) indicate that they either forget to put on sunscreen or they do not have time to do it. – Sun Safety Alliance, May, 2005
  • Despite the drop in protective measures, a majority of Americans (85 percent) say they know the dangers of overexposure to the sun and believe it is a serious issue (91 percent). – Sun Safety Alliance, May, 2005
  • Most people receive approximately 80 percent of their lifetime sun exposure by age 18, setting the stage for skin cancer later in life. – Sun Safety Alliance
  • Skin cancer starts in the outer layer of your skin, in one of three types of cells: basal, squamous, or melanocyte:
    1. Basal Cell Carcinoma – The most common form of skin cancer, basal cell carcinoma usually appears as slow-growing, translucent, raised, pearly nodules which, if untreated, may crust, ulcerate, and sometimes bleed. If detected and treated early, there is a greater than 95 percent cure rate.
    2. Squamous cell carcinoma – A common form of skin cancer, squamous cell carcinoma appears as nodules or red, scaly patches and can metastasize if untreated. While the cure rate is very high if treated early, squamous cell carcinoma can sometimes result in death.
    3. Melanoma (cutaneous melanoma) – Melanoma is a disease of the skin in which cancer (malignant) cells are found in the cells that color the skin (melanocytes). It is the least common but fastest growing and most dangerous type of skin cancer. While it usually occurs in adults, it may also occasionally be found in children and adolescents.

    –Sun Safety Alliance

  • Unlike some forms of cancer, skin cancer can be easily seen. Here are some visible warning signs you should be on the lookout for:If you find any suspicious areas, you should show them to your doctor.
    1. Asymmetry-one half unlike the other half.
    2. Border irregular-scalloped or poorly circumscribed border.
    3. Color varied from one area to another; shades of tan and brown, black sometimes white, red, or blue.
    4. Diameter larger than 6 mm as a rule (diameter of pencil eraser).

    Sun Safety Alliance

Preventing skin cancer is easy to do:

  • Keep in mind the sun is strongest between 10 am and 4 pm.
  • Always wear protective clothing when outside.
  • Wear clothing that’s dark and tightly woven.
  • Wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses.
  • Remember that UV rays bounce off sand, snow, concrete, and water.
  • Do not use sun tanning beds.
  • Keep very young children (6 months or less) out of the sun.
  • Sunscreens need to be applied liberally and evenly over all exposed areas.
  • Apply a sunscreen with a SPF of 15 or higher whenever you’re outdoors. To achieve adequate UV protection you should use products that provide broad spectrum protection, which means protection against both UVB and UVA rays. For broad spectrum protection, look for products that provide an SPF of at least 15 and contain ingredients like Avobenzone (Parsol 1789) or zinc oxide.
  • For children, the SSA recommends sunscreen with an SPF 30 or higher.
  • Apply sunscreen before going outdoors and reapply often.
  • Reapply sunscreen after swimming, perspiring, and toweling off.
  • Provide complete sunscreen coverage for your skin (including neck, ears and lips).
  • For people with thin or thinning hair, apply sunscreen to the scalp as well.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *