More and more of us are outside in the warm weather soaking up as many of the sun’s rays as possible. But not so fast say cancer specialists. While a little sun is a good thing, too much can cause a deadly form of skin cancer called melanoma. That’s why the month of May is Melanoma and Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month.
Dr. Gary Doolittle is an oncologist at The University of Kansas Cancer Center. He says skin cancer is an abnormal growth of skin cells that usually develops on areas of the skin exposed to the sun. He also points out the following facts:
- Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the US. In the past 30 years more people have had skin cancer than all other cancers combined.
- Melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, results in nearly 10,000 deaths a year.
- Each year, close to 80,000 Americans are diagnosed with melanoma.
In the video, Dr. Doolittle explains why Americans have a one in five chance of being diagnosed with skin cancer in their lifetime, what precautions we should take when being outside in the sun, the importance of being screened by your doctor on a regular basis and why some groups of people are more at risk than others.