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Why Skin Cancer is Rising Among Young Adults

Why Skin Cancer is Rising Among Young Adults

A health crisis is happening right now at rising rates among millennials. 

We’re talking about skin cancer.

There are several forms of skin cancer, including the deadliest form, melanoma. The most common types of skin cancer are basal cell carcinoma, melanoma, and squamous cell carcinoma. 

Basal cells produce new skin cells as old ones die. This cancer appears as a white, waxy lump or brown, scaly patch on areas of the skin that receive sun exposure. Melanoma begins in the cells that produce melanin, or your skin’s pigment. Symptoms appear as an unusual growth or changes in moles on your skin. Squamous cell carcinoma is caused by an overproduction of abnormal squamous cells. This type of cancer may appear as scaly, red patches, open sores, raised growths with a central depression and thickened wart-like skin. 

Let’s talk about why skin cancer is rising among young adults.

Why Skin Cancer is Rising Among Millennials and Gen Z

A recent survey published by the American Academy of Dermatology found that a lack of education about the dangers of tanning and too much sun exposure is associated with why skin cancer is rising among young adults.  

The survey revealed that 37 percent of millennials who participated in the research didn’t know that tanning can cause skin cancer. Forty-two percent of those millennials were also unaware that UV rays can penetrate through clothing. This lack of understanding is why millennials and the generation that follows them, Generation Z, continue to use tanning beds and fail to use sunscreen during long periods outdoors. 

Even young adults who do understand the dangers of Uv exposure and skin cancer are choosing to ignore the warnings and continue to tan. Both millennials and Gen Z are known as risk-taking generations who are lifestyle-oriented. A 2018 survey by Blue Cross Blue Shield Association revealed that over half of millennials surveyed believe a tan makes a person more attractive and healthy-looking. 

What Young Adults Can Do to Prevent Skin Cancer

The first step young adults can take to prevent skin cancer is to stop using the tanning bed and start wearing sunscreen every time they go outside. Wear protective clothing and a hat when spending long periods of time outdoors. Young parents spending long hours at the ballfield or beach during the summer should invest in a canopy tent to provide protection from the sun. 

Of course, young adults should visit their medical provider for regular, routine checkups at least once a year. Medical providers perform a number of screenings, including skin checks for signs of cancer, during these routine checkups. If they detect a problem, patients are referred to a dermatologist for further evaluation. 

Need to schedule your annual wellness checkup? Dial 662-282-4226 or click here to request a visit with one of our experienced providers at Mantachie Rural Healthcare. 


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