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Teens Need to Be on the Lookout for Possible Signs of Skin Cancer

photo of 4 teen girls on beach | Goodman Dermatology

Teens Need to Be on the Lookout for Possible Signs of Skin Cancer

Posted by Goodman Dermatology in Skin Cancer 27 Jul 2016

Skin cancer is a generalized term that is in reference to any type of cancer that starts in the cells of the skin. For the most part, these cancers develop on the top layer of skin or epidermis. The most common form of skin cancer is melanoma, squamous cell carcinoma and basal cell carcinoma. As well, there are several types of skin cancers that are not as common like cutaneous (skin) lymphoma, kaposi sarcoma, skin adnexal tumors, merkel cell carcinoma and different types of sarcomas.

Skin Cancer on the Rise

According to the American Cancer Society, skin-cancer is the most common of all cancers and the rates have drastically increased the last 30 years. Although melanoma accounts for about 1% of skin cancers, it is the cause of the majority of skin cancer deaths. In fact, the American Cancer Society’s estimates that in the US for 2016 there will be around 10,130 people that will die of melanoma (about 6,750 men and 3,380 women). As well, there will be a diagnosis of around 76,380 new melanomas cases (about 46,870 in men and 29,510 in women).

Further, melanoma is at least 20 more common in whites than African Americans; .5% (1 in 40) for whites, 0.5% (1 in 200) for Hispanics and 0.1% (1 in 1,000) for blacks. In addition, the risk of getting melanoma increases as you get older. The average age of diagnosis is 63. However, melanoma is not unheard of in people younger than 30. In fact, melanoma is one of the most common cancers in young adults, especially for young women.

Teens and Skin Cancer

Compared to 40 years ago, woman between the age of 18 and 39 are eight times more likely to be diagnosed with skin-cancer, including melanoma. Many specialists have also observed that the increase is in correlation with the growth of tanning beds introduced in the late 1970’s. In fact, studies show that people who tan indoors are 74 percent more apt to develop melanoma, 2.5 times more likely to get squamous cell carcinoma and 1.5 times more apt to develop basal cell carcinoma than non-tanners.

Moreover, young woman use tanning beds a whole lot more than any other age groups. Actually, 71 percent of tanning salon clientele are teens and women between the ages of 16-29. Quite frankly, teens are first indoor tanners then they quickly become melanoma patients.

How to Educate Young Adults

Now more than ever, it is vital that skin care specialists inform their teenage clients about the dangers and risks of sun exposure and tanning booths in relation to possible melanoma. As well, any real life scenario from a skin-cancer patient that is a teenager should be shared with other young adults.

Teenagers can also learn about the dangers of skin cancer from their parents, peers and teachers. In truth, there can never be enough information presented to get the word out about the risks and real truth behind the increase of melanoma. And as parents and role models, we have the responsibility of educating our teenagers about why there is a huge increase of skin cancer among young adults. Knowledge is always a key to prevention, for example:

Rendering a study published by J Robinson; knowledge of the connection between skin-cancer and tanning booths went from 42% in 1988 to 38% in 1994 and up 87% in 2007. Also, knowledge about reducing tanning to prevent melanoma increased to 77% from 1988–1994. But it decreased 67% from 1994–2007 due to the dark skin fad that occurred simultaneously.

And because of the change of attitude that a tan is far more attractive than pale skin; melanoma and skin-cancer among young adults is much higher. However, addition prevention for teens can include heart-to-heat talks plus educational documents about skin cancer risks that are easily printed. Also, websites such as Today Health and Wellness, have real life stories that are very helpful and insightful for teens.

Goodman Dermatology

If you suspect that you or your teenager has skin cancer, it is highly recommended that you schedule an appointment as soon as possible. At Goodman Dermatology you will receive thorough consultation and care. Not only is Dr. Goodman affiliated with numerous hospitals and organizations, but he is renowned for his expertise, reputation and many satisfied customers in the Atlanta area.

For your upmost convenience, Goodman Dermatology is located in Roswell, Georgia and serves the surrounding areas such as Alpharetta, Canton, Cumming, Dunwoody, Johns Creek and Suwanee.

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