We all know that skin cancer is dangerous. Getting that golden tan is unhealthy. Going outside without sunscreen, a hat and sunglasses is definitely not a good idea, and tanning beds are a big no-no if you value your skin’s health. If we all know it’s that bad, then why do people still do it?
One of the main reasons that people ignore prevention and early detection advice is because it may sound like work- “I don’t like how hats look on me” is what they might say. Unfortunately, another reason might be that people will not understand how real the dangers of skin cancer are until they experience it for themselves. Since 1 in 5 Americans will get skin cancer in their lifetime, this feeling of invincibility is far from the truth. If melanoma, basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, wrinkles, burning, sun spots, and aged skin aren’t enough to convince you that suntanning and sun overexposure aren’t a threat, then hopefully you’ll listen more closely when you learn how much it costs to have skin cancer.
Researchers estimate that the annual cost of all skin cancers in the US add up to $8.1 billion. That’s a lot of money. Since most skin cancer cases are preventable, this is an unnecessary cost to the economy and to patients themselves. It is estimated that indoor tanning beds alone are responsible for $343 million per year in health care costs. Tanning beds led to 263,000 cases of skin cancer that were completely preventable. As you can see, tans are clearly overrated! If you really love the look, think about getting a spray tan. Since the average cost of a spray tan is between $25 and $50, this is already a far healthier for your skin, and way cheaper too!
Although it may not be “in style” for some, take the time to prevent skin cancer from threatening your life. Buy some stylish protective sunglasses, have a friend help you put on sunscreen when you go to the beach, and avoid those tanning beds! It might not be what you’re used to, but your skin will thank you. It will be easier if you get your friends and family on board too. It’s always nicer to do something with their support, especially with the bonus of knowing they’re doing their part to stay safe.
We can all agree that doing your part to prevent skin cancer is essential. However, it doesn’t stop there. Early detection of skin cancer is incredibly important too! The survival rate of early stage melanoma is 98%. That is very promising, considering melanoma is one of the most dangerous forms of skin cancer! However, the late stage melanoma survival rate drops drastically to approximately 17%. Clearly, early detection is important. However, did you know that the cost of treatment rises tremendously based on how advanced your cancer is? In the United States, it costs approximately $1,732 to treat stage 1, and $56,059 to treat stage IV. Who knew that a mole check was so beneficial?
Not sure where to begin on your journey towards detecting potential skin cancer in its early stages? Visit websites like Molescope.com and Skincancer.org for more information about skin cancer, as well as useful pictures and instructions on how to perform a self skin check! AAD.org gives excellent information about the dangers of tanning, as well as statistics and legislations regarding indoor tanning use. Skin cancer isn’t something that anyone wants to think about, but that awareness and vigilance could save your life. Save your health, your skin, and your money- protect yourself in the sun, don’t use sun tanning booths, and perform your self-skin examinations. Why risk it when you can save it?
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The MetaOptima Team