Plaid Pack: Skin cancer cases on the rise

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - The number of people diagnosed with skin cancer is on the rise.

There are more skin cancer diagnoses each year in the U.S. than all other cancers combined.

According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, the number of skin cancer cases in the U.S. increased by 77 percent between 1994 and 2014.

About 9,500 people are diagnosed every day, according to the American Academy of Dermatology.

It's important to know the different types of skin cancer as that affects treatment options and a prognosis.

"There are multiple different types of skin cancer that you can see on the skin, but really the most common would be our basal cell and squamous cell, considered our non-melanoma to skin cancers," said Dr. Lindsey Prochaska, an oncologist at New Hanover Regional Medical Center's Zimmer Cancer Center. "Of course, our malignant melanoma is really the largest cancer morbidity skin cancer."

The most common form of skin cancer is basal cell carcinoma. The most deadly is malignant melanoma.

The American Cancer Society estimates about 91,270 people will be diagnosed this year with melanoma. About 9,320 melanoma patients are expected to die.

Dermatologists say most skin cancers are associated with exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun.

Dr. Rosalyn George of Wilmington Dermatology Center says she sees new cases of skin cancer every day. She says melanoma, the deadliest form, is treatable if it's caught early.

"When we detect it early, 99 percent survival rate. If you detect it after it's spread to the lymph nodes, the survival rate dips very, very low," George said.

Melanoma is more prevalent in men than women.

The American Cancer Society estimates about 5,990 men will be diagnosed this year. About 3,330 women will battle malignant melanoma.

As we do the first Monday of every month, we, along with our sponsors at NHRMC, are offering you one of our Plaid Packs. They contain important information about different types of cancer, including skin cancer. Click here to visit the Plaid Pack page for more information.

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