- Skin Cancer Prevention and Early Detection
- What is skin cancer?
- What is ultraviolet (UV) radiation?
- Are some people more likely to get sun damage?
- How do I protect myself from UV rays?
- What about tanning pills and other tanning products?
- Skin exams
- What should I look for?
- What if I find something suspicious?
- Additional resources
Skin Cancer Prevention and Early Detection
Skin cancer is the most common of all cancer types. More than 3.5 million skin cancers are diagnosed each year in the United States. That’s more than all other cancers combined. The number of skin cancer cases has been going up over the past few decades.
The good news is that you can do a lot to protect yourself and your family from skin cancer, or catch it early so that it can be treated effectively. Most skin cancers are caused by too much exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays. Most of this exposure comes from the sun, but some may come from man-made sources, such as indoor tanning beds.
You don’t need any x-rays or blood tests to find skin cancer early – just your eyes and a mirror. If you have skin cancer, finding it early is the best way to make sure it can be treated with success.
Last Medical Review: 12/11/2013
Last Revised: 02/20/2014