Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the U.S. When caught early, it is highly treatable. Learning some key facts about skin cancer can make all the difference in beating it. The more you know, the better prepared you are to help prevent, recognize, and cure skin cancer.
The most important fact to know about skin cancer
The most important skin cancer fact has to do with detection. Detecting skin cancer early gives you the best chance to cure it. The most effective way to find skin cancer early is by getting an annual skin check by your dermatologist.
A skin check is quick and easy. During the exam, the dermatologist uses a special magnifying device to thoroughly check your skin from head to toe. He or she looks for spots all over your skin, especially in places that are hard to see, like on your scalp, back, and buttocks, behind your ears, and between your toes. If the dermatologist finds a suspicious spot, a small sample, called a biopsy, may be taken and tested in a lab to see if it is skin cancer. If the test is positive for cancer, your dermatologist will contact you to discuss your treatment options. Together, you can discuss which option is best for you.
Other key facts about skin cancer
You can learn a lot about skin cancer by talking with your dermatologist and researching reliable sites about skin cancer online. Here are a few more key facts:
How many people are diagnosed with skin cancer daily?
Every day, 9,500 Americans are diagnosed with skin cancer.
How common is skin cancer?
1 in every 5 Americans will have skin cancer by age 70.
How deadly is skin cancer?
More than 2 people die of skin cancer each hour.
Can you get skin cancer more than once?
40%—50% of people with one skin cancer have another case of skin cancer within 5 years.
What are the most common types of skin cancer?
Basal and squamous cell skin cancers are the 2 most common types of skin cancer.
How many cases of basal and squamous cell skin cancers are diagnosed each year?
3.6 million cases of basal cell skin cancers and 1.8 million cases of squamous cell skin cancers are diagnosed each year.
Learn more about skin cancer
Knowing the facts sets you up for success in preventing, recognizing, and treating skin cancer. Early detection through a skin check can start you on your way to finding the most effective treatment. Having those checks every year can also help you feel comfortable with your dermatologist. If skin cancer is found, you’ll be able to have an open conversation about your treatment options.