Here’s a little test to see just how much you know, or don’t know, about skin cancer. See how you do. Each question is true or false.

  1. Skin cancer is the United States’ most common form of cancer
  2. Skin cancer can be prevented.
  3. Using sunscreen will prevent skin cancer from developing.
  4. Melanoma is the most common type of skin cancer.
  5. You won’t get skin cancer from tanning beds.
  6. Most skin cancer cases can be cured.
  7. People with moles have a higher risk for melanoma.
  8. Most people who get skin cancer die from it.
  1. True. About one million Americans are diagnosed with skin cancer every year. More than that number probably go undiagnosed.
  2. True. There are ways to lessen your exposure to the ultraviolet rays of the sun. Sun damage is cumulative, caused by UVA rays (they penetrate the skin and cause wrinkles) and UVB (they cause sunburn). Wear sun-blocking clothing. Wear sunscreen that blocks both UVA and UVB rays. Examine your skin regularly. Don’t use tanning beds.
  3. False. Sunscreen doesn’t allow you to spend unlimited time in the sun. It helps block harmful rays, but you need to limit your exposure.
  4. False. Melanoma is only about five percent of skin cancers, but it does cause the majority of deaths.
  5. False. Tanning beds increase your chances of developing skin cancer, not the other way around.
  6. True. All skin cancers, if caught early enough, can be cured with surgery.
  7. True. People with lots of moles or especially large moles are at a higher risk for melanoma. Check your moles constantly to see if they change shape or color.
  8. False. If detected early enough, most skin cancer cases are resolved successfully. But vigilance and early detection are key.

Living in Central Oregon, we are exposed to the sun almost every day of the year. Don’t take skin cancer lightly. Come and see us at Deschutes Dermatology every year to be checked.