Cancer of the skin is the most common cancer. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, more people are diagnosed with skin cancer each year in the U.S. than all other cancers combined. Many of us are under the assumption that melanoma is the most deadly. But we’d be wrong. With more than 1 million cases of Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) diagnosed in the U.S. each year, SCC is the second most common skin cancer with latest figures suggesting that more than 15,000 people die from it. That is more than twice as many as from melanoma. Melanoma ranks 2nd in deaths. An estimated 7,230 people will die from it in 2019 and an estimated 192,310 new cases will be diagnosed in the U.S. in 2019. Of the Melanoma deaths, approximately 66% will be men and 34% women.The number one form of cancer Basil Cell Carcinoma (BCC), an estimated 4.3 million cases of are diagnosed in the U.S. each year with about 3,000 deaths. ...
Unless you have your head buried in the sand, you have heard all the messages, and you understand the need to use a good sunscreen that offers good protection. But what do all those letters mean? UVA? UVB? SPF? And what SPF number makes sense?
SPF(sun protection factor) is the degree to which a sunscreen protects the skin from the direct rays of the sun and theoretically represents the amount of time you can be exposed to the sun without protection before burning. For example, if you can stay in the sun for 10 minutes before you burn then by wearing an SPF 20 would enable you to stay out 200 minutes or twenty times that period without protection. This does NOT take into account sweating, swimming, or using a towel, any of which would remove your sunscreen. The key is to stay on top of it, and re-apply often.
UVA (ultraviolet A) rays cause skin aging and wrinkling and contribute to skin cancers such as melanoma. Because UVA rays pass effortlessly through the ozone layer (the protective layer of atmosphere, or shield, surrounding the earth), they make up the majority of our sun exposure.
UVB (ultraviolet B) rays are also dangerous, causing sunburns, cataracts, and immune system damage, as well as also contributing to skin cancer. Melanoma is thought to be associated with severe UVB sunburns that occur before the age of 20. Most UVB rays are absorbed by the ozone layer, but enough of these rays pass through to cause serious damage.
UVC (ultraviolet C) rays are the most dangerous, but fortunately, these rays are blocked by the ozone layer and don't reach the earth. Finally, some good news!
Aside from uncomfortable or even painful sunburn, the sun wreaks havoc on our skin’s appearance, in ways that may not be seen until we get older. These effects include age spots and freckles, wrinkles, and thinned or thickened blood vessels. Sun exposure can lead to cataracts or retina damage.
Now that there’s no excuse for not adhering to sun safety rules whenever you are outdoors, here are some basic steps you can take to protect your health and appearance:
A bit of sun is a healthy thing. We need 10 minutes a day to ensure that we get enough Vitamin D, important for the health of our hearts and our bones, and for maintaining a strong immune system. Unfortunately, any sun exposure above and beyond that is overkill and unsafe. Be smart about the sun – you’ll be glad in the long run.
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