Why Are Women Still Getting Skin Cancer?

I’m most certainly not ignorant to the fact that cancer can happen to anyone. You can never pick up a cigarette a day in your life, and never be around secondhand smoke, and still end up succumbing to lung cancer.

The same goes for skin cancer. You can wear SPF 100 all of the livelong day, and still, somehow, contract skin cancer. However, you would think that with the latest, most in-your-face awareness of how to lower your likeliness of contracting skin cancer, skin cancer statistics would lower.

But they haven’t. Rates of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, have been rising in the United States, and young women are amongst the demographic most affected. In the past few decades alone, the incidence of melanoma has shot up 800 percent among women ages 18 to 39. 800 percent, which is twice the rate of same-aged men.

Why? Why is this happening to young women, such as yourselves. Well, here are some theories. Women are just not that worried about skin cancer, when they most certainly should be.

In 1964, when the surgeon general first reported on cigarettes being harmful to your health, it took decades for people to really take the risks of smoking seriously. Women are more concerned with getting a good tan, rather than constantly applying SPF.

Another reason as to why women could be getting skin cancer more frequently, is because women are not visiting dermatologists as often as they should be, if ever. I’m not going to be a hypocrite; I have never been to a dermatologist. I know that I should, but before writing this article, I never saw the need.

I didn’t grow up with horrible acne that would require me obtaining a prescription, so I never felt the need to go to the dermatologist. I’m wrong. You should be seeing a dermatologist once a year. If there’s nothing to find, the whole exam will take 10 minutes.

Even if you’re as careful as you can be, there is still a chance that something can pop up, and take preventative measures can help you catch whatever it is early.

Lastly, stop using tanning beds. Indoor tanning is a Class 1 carcinogen, which is up there with cigarettes and arsenic. One tanning session can increase your lifetime risk of developing melanoma by 20 percent.

Honestly, it’s not worth it. I know you’d rather be pale, than a cancer statistic. Will you change your tanning habits?

Ally Batista | Elite.

Twitter: @allybatista

Photo Credit: Getty Images