To My 16-Year-Old-Self: What I Wish I Would Have Done to Protect My Skin

View Pow­er­ful Video and Learn About Melanoma

Accord­ing to the Amer­i­can Can­cer Soci­ety, skin can­cer accounts for near­ly half of all can­cers in the Unit­ed States and is the most com­mon of all can­cers. The most aggres­sive and dan­ger­ous type of skin can­cer is Melanoma.

Facts about Melanoma

  • Results in the most deaths relat­ed to skin can­cer (9,700 of the near­ly 13,000 skin can­cer deaths per year — Amer­i­can Can­cer Society)
  • Besides on the skin, Melanoma can also be found in the eyes, mouth, skin under the nails, and gen­i­tal and anal areas
  • Melanoma is caused by:
  • Exces­sive UV expo­sure (sun­light or tan­ning beds)
  • Past severe sunburns
  • Pale skin / light fea­tured (red or blonde hair)
  • Per­son­al or fam­i­ly his­to­ry of Melanoma or skin cancers
  • Mul­ti­ple moles
  • Almost always cur­able if found at a very ear­ly stage

There are said to be 76,000 new cas­es of Melanoma each year. 

Melanoma can be very dan­ger­ous and impacts indi­vid­u­als of all ages.

Pre­ven­tion is extreme­ly impor­tant. Remem­ber to:

  • Use sun­screen daily
  • Wear a hat, sun­glass­es and sun pro­tec­tive clothing
  • Lim­it sun expo­sure dur­ing peak hours (10 am — 4 pm)
  • Avoid tan­ning beds com­plete­ly, as tan­ning bed use has been direct­ly linked with an increased risk of melanoma

Health Topics: