Skin cancer warning: The US Surgeon General has issued a statement that you seriously need to read
Summer beauty routines often consist of perfect beach waves and tanned skin, but the latter has just been named a “major public health problem” by the United States Surgeon General. The statistics are shocking. CNN reports that more annual cases of skin cancer are diagnosed than breast, prostate, lung and colon cancer combined. Even we are guilty of basking in the sun for a little extra glow, but this skin cancer warning has made us seriously rethink our summer beauty habits.
Each year, almost 5 million people in the United States are treated for the disease, with more than 63,000 cases of melanoma diagnosed—the deadliest type of skin cancer. The Canadian Cancer Society estimates that in 2014 alone 6,500 people will be diagnosed with melanoma and that’s 6,500 people too many. Tanning beds are a major source of the problem, with 400,000 cases of skin cancer each year related to indoor tanning. This is completely avoidable. It is heartbreaking that people are damaging their skin to this point just to get a tan.
“Until today, the surgeon general has never said, ‘UV radiation is bad for you; protect your skin,'” said acting Surgeon General Dr. Boris Lushniak. If that’s not a wake up call, we don’t know what is. And although risk decreases with more skin pigmentation, this report applies to individuals of all skin colours—no one is immune.
We’re not telling you to go hide under a rock for the rest of the season, but when you’re out enjoying the summer sun, wear a hat, sunglasses, protective clothing, and make sure you’re always wearing sunscreen with an SPF over 15. These things could quite literally save your life. And if you’re still looking for that golden glow, you can check out our favourite self-tanners here.