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Health

Third most common skin cancer, melanoma also most deadly

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One of the most common forms of cancer in the United States can also be one of the most dangerous.

Over the past three decades, more people have had skin cancer than all other cancers combined, according to skincancer.org, and one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in the course of a lifetime.

While the two most common types of skin cancer—basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas—are highly curable, they can be disfiguring and costly, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials said. Melanoma, the third most common skin cancer, is more dangerous and causes the most deaths.

On average, a person’s risk for melanoma doubles if he or she has had more than five sunburns, said experts in the skincare field.

The majority of melanoma cases can be linked to ultraviolet rays. Help protect yourself with daily use of a sunscreen with an SPF, or sun protection factor, of 30 or higher. And make sure to keep reapplying.

Early detection of melanoma is key. According to skincancer.org, the estimated 5-year survival rate for patients whose melanoma is detected early is about 98 percent in the U.S. The survival rate falls to 62 percent when the disease reaches the lymph nodes, and 18 percent when the disease metastasizes to distant organs.

Besides wearing sunscreen and staying clear of harmful UV rays, make sure to include monthly self-exams of the skin and yearly dermatologist appointments in your health regimen.

For more information, call Eterna MedSpa & Laser Vein Center at (815) 254-8888 or visit http://www.eternalaser.com/.