It is estimated that 80% of melanomas are due to ultraviolet light damage to the skin. Avoidance of excessive sunlight, particularly sunburn, is an effective way to prevent all skin cancer including melanoma. Sense in the sun includes:
Sunscreens should be used as additional protection for the skin and are very important when sunlight intensity is high, such as at the beach, in the middle of the day, and during sporting events requiring a long time exposed to the sun. A factor 30 waterproof sunscreen is best and it should be reapplied every two hours.
Children and teenagers are more at risk from sunlight damage than older people. As we get older our skin thickens and is more resistant to sunlight damage. It is particularly important for parents to ensure that young children are well protected when playing in the sunlight.
With early diagnosis and treatment, the chances of recovery are very good.
The chance of getting melanoma increases as you get older, but people of any age can get melanoma. In fact, melanoma is one of the most common cancers in young adults. Each year, more than 87,000 people in the U.S. learn that they have melanoma.
Melanoma is a serious and sometimes life-threatening cancer. If melanoma is found and treated in its early stages, the chances of recovery are very good. If it is not found early, melanoma can grow deeper into the skin and spread to other parts of the body. This spread is called metastasis.
Once melanoma has spread to other parts of the body beyond the skin, it is difficult to treat.
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