A diagnosis of skin cancer is something that no one wants to hear. Even when it is caught early before skin cancer symptoms arise, most people have moments of fear, surprise and shock. However, if you are one of the rising numbers of young people being diagnosed with melanoma, you may feel that life has taken a very unexpected turn.
Skin cancer – the facts for young people
According to The American Cancer Society, the most common type of cancer for those aged 25-29 is melanoma and the incidences for those aged from their late teens through to their late 30’s has actually increased by up to eight times the level it was just a few decades ago.
In Australia, the Cancer Council states that around 95% to 99% of skin cancers are associated with sun exposure and in Australia, the incidences are higher than any other part of the world – bar none. They point out that the number of people being diagnosed with this cancer has risen by around 60% since 1982 and the five-year survival rate is between 90% and 94%. They also point out that those aged between 15 and 44 are more likely to get skin cancer than any other type.
Know how to Prevent Melanoma.
“It won’t happen to me”
It is certainly scary stuff and could possibly be due to people simply refusing to believe it could happen to them. The fact is that if you are young, you may truly believe that your youth gives you immunity. That is often the case with other types of cancer, after all – they come on slowly and are due to lifestyle factors or simply, age. Young people may feel that their skin is something they can look after later. Possibly when it is too late.
You really do know better
Every child in Australia and in most western countries has the message drummed into them from the word go. Sunscreen, hats, long sleeved tops, stay in the shade, don’t sunbathe. We know the rules and this news regarding the rise in skin damage for youngsters really should send it home with a thud. The evidence is clear and it is mounting – skin cancer can catch up with you and perhaps, sooner rather than later.
For those of us who enjoyed days in the sun as a child and now have moles on the skin that we worry about, the aim is to be aware. Use our skin cancer app to keep track of changes in your moles and make sure that you are one of the lucky ones who catch it early. The chances are good – but you can improve them.