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Skin Cancer On The Rise; Surgeon General Issues Warning

More cases of skin cancer are being diagnosed annually than breast, prostate, lung and colon cancer cases combined according to the American Cancer Society and the surgeon general is concerned.

On Tuesday, the United States surgeon general issued a call to action to prevent disease, calling it a major health problem that requires immediate action.

Nearly, 5 million people are treated for skin cancer each year.

In a sunny state like Florida the skin cancer rates are some of the highest in the country. In 2009, 4,920 state residents were diagnosed with melanoma, and about 626 people die of melanoma every year.

Each year, more than 63,000 cases of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, are diagnosed in the United States and 9,000 people die from it. From 1973 to 2011, melanoma rates increased more than 200, and it is the most common form of cancer in adults ages 25 to 29.

To combat this issue, the House of Representatives passed the Sunscreen Innovation Act, which includes the a review process for all manufacturers submitting a new sunscreen to the FDA.

Another major contributopr to skin cancer is indoor tanning. It’s estimated that more than 400,000 cases of skin cancer are linked to indoor tanning, 6,000 of which are melanomas. Sunlamps and tanning beds get FDA warning.

There are laws requiring minors to have parental consent in 44, but only 10 prohibit minors from indoor tanning all together.

To reduce the risk of skin cancer, the CDC recommend wearing a hat, sunglasses and protective clothing and using sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15. It is also important to visit your dermatologist regularly if you are an avid tanner.

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Source: CNN, “Surgeon general issues skin cancer warning,” July 30, 2014

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