There are two types of skin cancer: melanoma cancer and non-melanoma cancer, which include basal and squamous.
Melanoma is a life-threatening skin cancer, often requiring heavy treatment such has chemotherapy.
According to the CDC, over 76,000 people were diagnosed with melanoma in 2014 in the US and nearly 10,000 died.
This is the most common form of skin cancer, affecting 3 million people per year in the US.
These cancers are curable but are very serious for immunosuppressed people. They can also cause disfigurement (basal) and spread to other parts of the body (squamous).
It is crucial to catch skin cancer early. You should consult a dermatologist regularly and keep an eye on your moles and all skin lesions. Dermatologists have developed a visual system to help you identify suspect moles.
Asymmetrical moles have a higher likelihood of being cancerous.
Notice moles with outer edges that are uneven.
Look for moles that are dark black or have multiple colors.
A mole with a diameter greater than 6mm may be suspect.
Note any changes in size, shape, or color.
There are two types of UV: UVB and UVA. UVB usually leads to visible burns and UVA rarely burns, but it still is associated with skin aging, cancer risk, and other UV-triggered immune reactions.
Tanning beds are used by people for aesthetic purposes. Tanning beds use very high doses of UVA, much higher than what sunlight delivers. There is no "safe" tanning bed.
Sunlight is essential to our social life, happiness, mood, and even vitamin D. Sunlight is a complex combination of UVB and UVA.
Intuition about UV light levels is often wrong. Without measuring UV exposure, you must always be extremely cautious to minimize your UV exposure.