The number of melanoma cases reported annually in the U.S. will continue to rise as Americans neglect to reduce their exposure to ultraviolet radiation, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said. According to the CDC, reported cases of the deadliest form of skin cancer have nearly doubled in the past three decades.
Even though sunshine is good for health and is a great source of vitamin D for the human body, it may put a person at the risk of developing health issues associated with skin. Nearly 90 percent of melanoma cases result from damage to skin cells caused by overexposure to ultraviolet radiation, mostly from sunlight, the CDC said.
Melanoma is the most common form of skin cancer diagnosed in the U.S. It is estimated that nearly 3.5 million new cases of melanoma are reported annually in the U.S. Health experts suggest that people get their skin checked periodically for the presence of melanoma.
According to Justine Hextall, a consultant dermatologist, sunblocks that claim UVA and UVB protection can prevent only 7 percent of rays from damaging skin. The rest of the rays can cause cancer if exposure is severe, and skin spots and infections if exposure is low.
The official CDC website offers recommendations for protecting oneself from the sun. These steps include seeking shade when outdoors, wearing sunglasses, applying a good sunscreen and wearing appropriate clothing, including a hat.
Meanwhile, the Arizona Melanoma Task Force has asked that all medical practitioners in the state report cases of melanoma to the state Department of Health Services, after finding that cases have been underreported in recent years. "Any physician involved with the diagnosis of a melanoma is required by Arizona law to report it," said dermatologist Nancy Silvis, in a statement. "This would include the doctor who did the initial biopsy, the pathologist who read it, the surgeon who did the excision."