Skin cancer has become more common in recent years with even young people now being affected. Most people don’t even realize that it is one of the easiest cancers to prevent. Avoiding prolonged exposure to UV rays and wearing sunscreen are simple and could save your life. Read on to discover seven facts about skin cancer that may surprise you.

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1.) Every Hour, One Person Dies from Skin Cancer

It is a common misconception that people cannot die from skin cancer. The truth is, approximately 8000 people die from melanoma each year in the United States alone. The majority of these deaths could have been preventable.

2.) One Serious Childhood Burn is All It Takes

One blistering sunburn during childhood can raise the likelihood of developing melanoma in adulthood. Using sunscreen to protect children against UV rays is essential.

3.) Skin Cancer is Most Deadly for African Americans, Asians and Latinos

While people with darker complexions are not generally at risk for developing skin cancer, those who do get melanoma are more likely to die of complications than people with fairer skin are. That is why it is important for people of all races to keep a close eye on their skin and report anything irregularities to their doctors.

4.) One in Three Caucasians Will Develop Skin Cancer in Their Lifetime

One in Five people living in the United States will develop a type of skin cancer in their lifetime. Caucasians are at a higher risk, with one in three being diagnosed.

5.) Men Are More Likely to Develop It Than Women

If you are a man, your chance of developing skin cancer is already double that of any woman. Skin cancer is also the most common type of cancer in men over 50. It is more likely that men will develop skin cancer than prostate, colon and lung cancers.

6.) Skin Cancer Patients Account for Nearly 50% of all Cancer Patients

Of all the cancer types, skin cancer is the most commonly diagnosed among men and women. UV ray exposure through both natural and artificial means causes skin cancer in these patients. Doctors recommend keeping a close eye on your skin at home and bringing any irregularities to your physician’s attention at your yearly checkups.

7.) Over One Million Cases Are Diagnosed Per Year

It is estimated that 1.5 million cases of skin cancer will be diagnosed this year. This number is expected to continue rising because of the growing popularity of tanning salons. Tanning beds have the same harmful UV rays as the sun.

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Peter Wendt is a freelance writer and researcher living in Austin, Texas.  A few years ago Peter was diagnosed with skin cancer by his San Mateo Cosmetic Dermatologist, and ever since he has gone out of his way to point out the shocking dangers of skin cancer that many people are unaware of.