Skin cancer is a condition that plagues many people all over the world and is the most common form of cancer in the United States. The Melanoma Research Alliance (MRA) has some shocking statistics about skin cancer: one person dies from melanoma every hour, making it the deadliest form of skin cancer, and 76,000 Americans are diagnosed with Melanoma each year. But it's not all bad news, as the MRA has found that 99 percent of skin cancer patients survive with early detection.
Unfortunately, many minority groups, including Latinos and Hispanics, are under the misconception that they are not at risk from skin cancer due to their skin tone. But the science proves otherwise: Studies have found that there is an increase in melanoma among Hispanics and due to late diagnosis, Hispanics are also more likely to have poorer survival outcomes.
The importance of increasing the awareness of skin cancer and sun safety is only further highlighted by a L'Oréal Paris survey conducted by Kelton that finds that American women are aware of melanoma, but more than half of them give themselves a grade "C" or lower when rating their healthy sun care habits.
What's more, the survey by global beauty brand L'Oréal Paris--which has formed a philanthropic alliance with the MRA, promising to donate over $750,000 to the MRA over the next three years to fund the new L'Oréal Paris-MRA Team Science Award--found that African American women--who are also seeing an increase in skin cancer--were found to take even less steps to protect their skin. Specifically, less than 28 percent of American women believe it's possible to develop melanoma in their lifetime and this statistic is significantly lower for African American women (7 percent) and Hispanic women (16 percent).
Surprised? There's more:
- 21% of US women, 17% of Hispanic women and 37% of African-American women never or rarely wear sunscreen.
- Almost half (46% of US women, 46% of Hispanic women and 36% of African-American women polled) only wear sunscreen when they know they'll be in the sun for a long time
- A minority (30 percent of American women, 15% of Hispanics and 19% African Americans) regularly give themselves skin exams
- 88% of US women, 89% of Hispanic women and a shocking 96% of African American women have not had any kind of dialogue with a doctor about melanoma
Of course, it is entirely possible to protect yourself from the sun.
"Many of these cancers can be avoided by avoiding UV rays," said Meg Watson, MPH, an epidemiologist in the CDC's Division of Cancer Prevention and Control, exclusively to Latin Times.. "To reduce risk of skin cancer, seek shade, wear clothing that protects exposed skin, choose wide-brimmed hats and sunglasses that provide as much UV protection as possible, use sunscreen with SPF of at least 15 and UVA and UVB protection, and avoid indoor tanning."
If you're looking for some affordable and effective products, then know that through December 31st 2013, L'Oréal Paris will be donating $1 to the MRA for every product sold in their sun care product line, Sublime Sun, up to $250,000. The entirety of the donation (100% of it) will be used towards research.