Be Sun Smart!

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June 6, 2018

Dear Friends,

Kids will be home soon for summer holidays, as a public service Cherokee Nation Public health (Comp Cancer Control) and health research programs are proving kid-friendly coloring pages and a simple message about being “Sun Smart.”

Here are some facts about skin cancer:

*  Skin cancer is the number one cancer diagnosis in the United States – more common than all breast, prostate, and lung cancers combined.

*  The majority of cases skin cancer are caused by sun damage to skin cells, and therefore are largely preventable.

*   About 90 percent of non-melanoma skin cancers are associated with exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun.

*   Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is the most common form of skin cancer. Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is the second most common form of skin cancer.

*   Organ transplant patients are approximately 100 times more likely than the general public to develop squamous cell carcinoma.

*   One person dies of melanoma every hour.

*   In the past decade (2008 – 2018) the number of new melanoma cases diagnosed annually has increased by 53 percent.

*   An estimated 178,560 cases of melanoma will be diagnosed in the U.S. in 2018. Of those, 87,290 cases will be in situ (noninvasive), confined to the epidermis (the top layer of skin), and 91,270 cases will be invasive,    penetrating the epidermis into the skin’s second layer (the dermis).

*   An estimated 9,320 people will die of melanoma in the U.S. in 2018: of those, 5,990 will be men and 3,330 will be women.

*   The vast majority of melanomas are caused by the sun. In fact, one UK study found that about 86 percent of melanomas can be attributed to exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun.

*   On average, a person’s risk for melanoma doubles if he or she has had more than five sunburns.

*   Regular daily use of an SPF 15 or higher sunscreen reduces the risk of developing melanoma by 50 percent and squamous cell carcinoma by about 40 percent.

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