Skin Cancer Rates Just Keep On Rising

Illustrated by Zhang Qingyun.
There has truly never been a better reason to shop for a new floppy hat and some sunglasses: The rates of skin cancer (unlike many other cancers) have continued to rise over the past 30 years.

According to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the rate of melanoma in the U.S. doubled between 1982 and 2011. Although melanoma is a rare form of skin cancer, it accounts for the majority of skin cancer deaths. It's estimated that there will be nearly 10,000 deaths due to melanoma this year in the U.S.

Those are some scary numbers, especially because the vast majority (90%) of those cases were caused by UV exposure. That includes the rays we soak up from the sun and those from indoor tanning beds, which are already infamous for causing skin cancer that requires (sometimes gruesome) treatment.

The CDC says that those numbers will continue to rise unless we get serious about preventing skin cancer. And, if we do, the report suggests 20% of new cases between 2020 and 2030 could be prevented — amounting to about 230,000 cases prevented by 2030. That's all thanks to a community-based approach that includes adding shady areas to playgrounds and pools, plus encouraging people to keep covered in the sun and slather on the sunscreen (at least SPF 15, please!). Oh, and restricting the use of indoor tanning, especially by minors.

“The rate of people getting melanoma continues to increase every year compared to the rates of most other cancers, which are declining,” said the CDC's Lisa Richardson, MD, MPH in a press release. “If we take action now, we can prevent hundreds of thousands of new cases of skin cancers, including melanoma, and save billions of dollars in medical costs.”

So, please, have no shame in going full Mom Mode in the middle of your summer pool party: Keep nagging everyone to put sunscreen on in between umbrella-embellished cocktails. They'll thank you eventually.
Advertisement

More from Body

Update: Kopp's original Facebook post has been removed, and, as Shape reports, the chances of contracting an infection so severe that draining is ...
Breast-feeding has numerous benefits for both mother and baby, but it doesn't always come as naturally as we might assume. And, as one viral photo shows, ...
Last week, Kelly Stanley was breast-feeding her 9-month-old baby during dinner when someone else at her table decided to grab a cloth napkin and try to ...
Pregnant women get a lot of advice about motherhood, even when they don't ask for it. And in the first episode of Expecting, from Refinery29's comedy ...
Periods may be annoying, but at least they're predictable — sort of. If yours is a little delayed this cycle, and you're not trying to get pregnant right ...
It sustains life. It boosts immunity. It may or may not taste like the milk left over from a bowl of Lucky Charms. (Full disclosure: I sampled mine just ...
Gina Rodriguez is the master of keeping it real. She's been open about everything from losing her virginity to coping with thyroid disease, so it makes ...
(Paid Content) Stress sweat is different from regular sweat in that it feeds off bacteria and causes odor. Then you start to think about it — producing ...
When you see your friend's adorable baby, your first instinct, understandably, is probably to hug and kiss her all over. However, you might want to think ...
Two years ago, Ericka Hart was about to walk into a Sephora in Lower Manhattan when she looked down at her ringing phone, and stopped right there on Wall...
Eve Torres Gracie, former WWE wrestler and current very dangerous person, posted a moving Instagram photo of her post-baby body today. Inspired by the ...
In an interview for People's Mom Talk video series, model and actress Molly Sims opened up about suffering through a thyroid problem that went ...
When I think about the aspect of sex that has made me most anxious over the course of my seven years of sexual activity so far, it’s not the risk of ...
If you've never experienced color-blindness yourself, it's pretty hard to imagine what it might be like. Turns out, it's much more complicated than just ...