We all know the statistics: each year in the U.S. over 5.4 million cases of non-melanoma skin cancer are treated in more than 3.3 million people. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, over the past three decades, more people have had skin cancer than all other cancers combined. “Despite all of the efforts being made, over 10,000 people have died of melanoma this past year, this is more deaths than in any previous year,” says Dr. Darrell S. Rigel, medical director at Schweiger Dermatology Group and world-renowned skin cancer expert. The good doctor notes that the age group that’s growing most is young women, thanks in part to the use of tanning beds. In fact, the tanning industry, a $6 billion industry, has hired the same PR firm that the tobacco industry has employed.
Therefore, its no surprise that Khloé Kardashian shared her own cancer story today on her subscriber-based website, khloewithak. “There was one mole I had on my back that was skin cancer,” the reality star revealed. “I had eight inches of skin removed. It was definitely painful because it was a lot of skin, but most of the time, the removals haven’t been that bad,” she said. “Now that I’ve gone through this a couple of times,” she added, “I am extra aware of my skin, body and moles.” So why has Kardashian, 32, come forward? “I’m writing this post with the hope that my story can get some of you in to see your doctor if you notice something wrong with your skin. I haven’t had a problem in years, but wanted to share my experience with you so that if you notice something doesn’t look right, you will take action and take care of your health!”
So what can you do to prevent skin cancer (the only cancer for which there is a known cause)? According to Rigel, simple behavioral changes can help prevent skin cancer: wearing daily SPF of 30, avoiding the midday sun, and seeing your dermatologist for annual screenings or when there’s a suspicious mole or lesion on your body. He also advises that you become aware of the ABCDEs [A (asymmetry), B (irregular borders), C (color), D (diameter), E (evolution) of your moles] of melanoma detection, which can save your life.