Skin Cancer Risks

People are developing skin cancer nowadays at a rate that is nearing epidemic proportions. The reasons for this are theorized as due to lifestyle changes and our desire to have a golden tan. However, by baking for hours in the sun and making repeat visits to the tanning salon, we are risking our health and for many of us, our lives.

The following raises the risk of developing skin cancer:

    • red or blond hair and/or skin that burns easily
    • three or more sunburns that have blistered before the age of 20 years of age
    • a large amount of freckles on the upper back
    • a family member who has had a melanoma
    • working at least three summers outdoors as a teenager
    • have red rough spots on parts of the body that are not exposed to the sun

If only three of these apply to you, the risk of you developing a melanoma is 20 to 25 times higher than the average person.

Sun is Healthy?

Many years ago, it was believed the rays from the sun provided our bodies with health. Have you noticed that most of us believe we look healthier with a glowing tan? Actually, it is very dangerous to our health and a ‘healthy glow is in fact a delusion.

A worldwide epidemic of the deadly melanoma cancer was started in the 60’s and 70’s due to our obsession for suntanned skin. Experts have predicted skin cancer is killing 6500 Americans every year. 1 in every 105 people contracts a melanoma and 1 in 5 are dying of it.

An example of how this epidemic is spreading can be summed up simply.
It was unusual to see an individual under 40 with a melanoma 10 years ago. Now it is quite common for people to have it during their 20s and 30s.

Global Threat

It is also important to remember the earths protective ozone layer is diminishing twice as fast as we originally anticipated. Experts predict that due to the earths shield thinning, there will be even more of the sun’s harmful rays getting through and the number of people developing skin cancer will rise even further.

The damage to the ozone layer is worse towards the north and the south poles and in the USA, The worst damage is north of the line reaching from Nevada, Reno to Denver to Philadelphia. There are also large parts of the sky over Europe and around the equator which are affected.

There is also a ‘hole in the ozone layer over Antarctica during the winter. It was originally thought the diminishing ozone layer would cease during the warmer months but it has been proved to continue during April and may when more people spend time outdoors.

One of the countries with the highest skin cancer rates in the world is Australia, which is north of the equator with many fair skinned and fair haired citizens of an Anglo-Saxon and Celtic origin and as Australians love the outdoors, they are particularly susceptible.

See Also:

Skin Cancer and Children– protecting your children from skin cancer risks