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Skin Cancer 101: Symptoms and Facts


Skin cancer develops primarily on areas of sun exposed skin including the scalp, face, lips, ears, neck, chest, arms and hands, and on the legs of women. It affects people of all skin tones, including those with darker complexions.

The Symptoms

Check yourself for:

  • A pearly or waxy bump
  • A flat, flesh colors or brown scar like lesion
  • A firm, red nodule
  • A flat lesion with a scaly, crusted surface
  • A large brownish spot with darker speckles
  • A mole that changes in color, size, or feel
  • A small lesion with an irregular border

The Facts

  • Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States
  • More than 3.5 million skin cancers in over two million people are diagnosed annually
  • Over the past three decades, more people have had skin cancer than all other cancers combined
  • One in five Americans will develop skin cancer in the course of a lifetime
  • One person dies of melanoma every 57 minutes
  • An estimated 76,690 new cases of invasive melanoma will be diagnosed in the US in 2013
  • About 86% of Melanoma’s can be attributed to exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun
  • A person’s risk for melanoma doubles if he or she has had more than five sunburns at any age
  • People who first use a tanning bed before age 35 increase their risk for melanoma by 75 percent
  • More than 90 percent of the visible changes commonly attributed to skin aging are caused by the sun

Watch this video below to learn about Shonda Schilling’s (wife of Curt Schilling) cancer battle:

This article was written by Danielle Brouilette and Tate Sahagian

Jessica is a senior at Bryant University where she is majoring in management and double minoring in marketing and communication.  She holds the position as Editor-In-Chief of Her Campus Bryant and was actually one of the first founding members!  Beyond Her Campus Bryant, she is the Vice President of the Bryant Marketing Association and a MyPath Mentor.  She loves working at the Amica Center for Career Education where she manages their marketing and social media efforts but also enjoys her time at the Hassenfeld Institute for Public Leadership and the school's bookstore. When at home in Connecticut, she loves to watch movies with her family, play with her dog, have bonfires with friends, sleepovers with her sister, and scrapbook! Jessica aspires to one day manage her own department of a fortune 500 company, or even run her own company with a little bit of writing on the side!  Upon graduating this coming May, she will jump-start her career at EMC as a Marketing Development Associate in the Marketing Development Program.
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