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After a long cold winter it's just what you crave: sun!  But as rates of skin cancer increase in the United States doctors urge you to protect yourself from the sun's harmful rays. A recent survey found many Americans know the dangers but still don't protect their skin.

Even though it's the most common form of all cancers, the survey found that nearly 60 percent of Americans have never been screened. A doctor tells MSNBC, most people don't even take the time to examine themselves.

"But most people don't even know their skin...Learn how to do a self check, that means from head to toe, every nook and cranny and just take an inventory of your spots."

If caught early enough skin cancers are 99.9 percent curable with surgery. But a Fox anchor in Minneapolis says he can remember a time when skin cancer wasn't publicized as being such a threat.

"A number of years ago when we were kids it never seemed to be a problem. This type of cancer seems to have intensified. We didn't wear any sunscreen as a kid. You'd take your shirt off all summer and burn, why is there such a propensity of it now?"

The Kansas City Star reports skin cancer cases rose from 1 million to 3.5 million cases nationwide in just nearly 20 years and experts say tanning booths are partially responsible.

"Skin Cancer Foundation statistics show a 75 percent greater chance people will get melanoma if they are exposed to tanning booths in childhood."

While numbers are rising in the U.S., the Edmonton Sun reports they're actually decreasing in the Canadian province of Alberta.

"Researchers can't be sure of the exact reasons for the drop, but they believe sun awareness campaigns  first launched in the 1980's — could have made an impact."


But back in the U.S., the Philadelphia CBS affiliate reports the belief that a tan person is healthy and more attractive could contribute to the rise in skin cancer; yet, one woman, who has two types of skin cancer, says she's just learned to accept her paleness.

"I just realized now, hey this is my color, that's the way it is. You know I'm white and I'll stop being like a rotisserie chicken at the beach, like I did when I was younger."

So what do you think explains the recent rise in skin cancer cases?  More exposure to harmful rays, or too little exposure to life-changing information?

Writer: Veronica Wells

Survey Finds Americans Largely Lack Sun Smarts

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May 5, 2010

Survey Finds Americans Largely Lack Sun Smarts

(Thumbnail: Web MD)

 

After a long cold winter it's just what you crave: sun!  But as rates of skin cancer increase in the United States doctors urge you to protect yourself from the sun's harmful rays. A recent survey found many Americans know the dangers but still don't protect their skin.

Even though it's the most common form of all cancers, the survey found that nearly 60 percent of Americans have never been screened. A doctor tells MSNBC, most people don't even take the time to examine themselves.

"But most people don't even know their skin...Learn how to do a self check, that means from head to toe, every nook and cranny and just take an inventory of your spots."

If caught early enough skin cancers are 99.9 percent curable with surgery. But a Fox anchor in Minneapolis says he can remember a time when skin cancer wasn't publicized as being such a threat.

"A number of years ago when we were kids it never seemed to be a problem. This type of cancer seems to have intensified. We didn't wear any sunscreen as a kid. You'd take your shirt off all summer and burn, why is there such a propensity of it now?"

The Kansas City Star reports skin cancer cases rose from 1 million to 3.5 million cases nationwide in just nearly 20 years and experts say tanning booths are partially responsible.

"Skin Cancer Foundation statistics show a 75 percent greater chance people will get melanoma if they are exposed to tanning booths in childhood."

While numbers are rising in the U.S., the Edmonton Sun reports they're actually decreasing in the Canadian province of Alberta.

"Researchers can't be sure of the exact reasons for the drop, but they believe sun awareness campaigns  first launched in the 1980's — could have made an impact."


But back in the U.S., the Philadelphia CBS affiliate reports the belief that a tan person is healthy and more attractive could contribute to the rise in skin cancer; yet, one woman, who has two types of skin cancer, says she's just learned to accept her paleness.

"I just realized now, hey this is my color, that's the way it is. You know I'm white and I'll stop being like a rotisserie chicken at the beach, like I did when I was younger."

So what do you think explains the recent rise in skin cancer cases?  More exposure to harmful rays, or too little exposure to life-changing information?

Writer: Veronica Wells

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