Health Plus: Skin cancer cases surging in U.S. - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Health Plus: Skin cancer cases surging in U.S.

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States.

So odds are you or someone you love will deal with it.

What you need to know about skin cancer and prevention this summer in Health Plus.

At the Covenant Cancer Treatment Center in Waterloo, patients get treated for many forms of the disease.

But the one type of cancer people may not take as seriously--skin cancer.

And that's a mistake.

One in five Americans will have skin cancer.

"A lot of people think skin cancer is pretty minor compared to some of the other cancers that we hear a lot about in the news and the reality is there are a lot more skin cancers diagnosed every year than there are all the other cancers put together. And looking at just the skin cancers one American dies about every hour," said Nancy McHone, Covenant's Cancer Program Coordinator.

All the more reason to protect yourself.

"Operative word for skin cancers is change. If you notice a change in a mole or a freckle you need to get that brought to the attention of your primary care person," she said.

You've heard all the pro-active approaches... seek shade, use sunscreen, avoid tanning beds... but a lot of Americans aren't heeding that warning since melanoma, the deadliest form, has increased 400 percent in men and 800 percent in women in the past thirty years.

"The thing about the sunscreen is people need to remember that you need to reapply it, even the ones that are water resistant you still need to reapply those about every two hours because we sweat them off if we're outside really working or if we're playing in the water we can wash them off that way," she said.

One other note, nearly half of all Americans who live to be sixty-five will have skin cancer.

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