Fight The Sun

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by Justin Friday

As warm weather continues students find themselves enticed from the confines of home. However, what if all of the fun in the sun today could lead to devastating medical complications later?

Skin cancer in teenagers is a serious issue today; making life difficult further down the road into adulthood. Skin cancer is caused by mutations occurring in the skin due to radiation, often stemming from the sun. Skin cancer can occur in several different forms from the benign cancerous moles that pop up from time to time, or the silent killer that is Melanoma, killing thousands of Americans every year; in fact, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation an American dies from Melanoma every 57 minutes.

Studies done by the Skin Cancer Foundation shows that skin cancers of all types occur most often in men and women between the age of 20 and 30. This is because most exposure occurs during adolescence, and the skin cancers’ cells require about five years or so in order to fully develop. Things like not wearing sunscreen to the pool, beach, or sport practices will likely increase the chances of developing skin cancer later on in life.

Other studies done by independent research organizations show that about every three severe sunburns a person get as a teen will drastically increase the chances of developing cancer in the long run. However among teens of this generation, the greatest threat to adolescents is tanning booths and spray tans; the spray tanning allowing harmful chemicals to seep into and stains skin cells, leaving them more vulnerable to mutation.

Tanning booths however, bombard you cells with ultraviolet light, actually causing irreversible damage to the epidermis. Actually, the skin cancer foundation states that using a tanning booth can potentially increase your risk of skin cancer by 80%!

However, despite these threats of cancer there are ways to protect oneself: every 2 hours or so (1 if under vigorous physical activity) apply sunscreen. Avoid tanning booths and spray tans all together; also wearing sunglasses is recommended as the thin filament over the eyes are skin and can get melanoma just like skin.

Also, spotting skin cancer before it becomes too serious by learning to recognize cancerous moles (Skin blemishes that are cancerous) is another preventative. The method of doing this is called the “ugly duckling method” and is as follows; moles that are different from other moles around them, moles that are abnormally pale or dark, moles that are misshapen and blob like, and moles that grow faster than other moles. These are all signs of skin cancer, and it is recommended to visit a dermatologist annually if these signs appear.

And though there are many treatments for melanoma and other skin cancers, they tend to be extremely expensive costing anywhere up to two thousand dollars! so invest in sunscreen now, cause Melanoma won’t just wear away at your skin, it’ll breakdown your bank account to.

 

“Skin Cancer Foundation.” The. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Apr. 2015.

“Skin Cancer in America | Skin Cancer Prevention.” Skin Cancer in America | Skin Cancer Prevention. N.p., 27 Apr. 2015. Web. 27 Apr. 2015.