Accessibility links

US Surgeon General: Skin Cancer a Major Public Health Problem

  • VOA News

Dr. Antonella Tost, Dermatologist University of Miami School of Medicine, examines Michael Casa Nova,12, for symptoms of skin cancer due to sun exposure, June 15, 2011.

Acting U.S. Surgeon General Boris Lushniak has declared skin cancer a major public health problem in the United States, and has called on federal and local officials to step up prevention.

A new report says the number of deadly melanoma cases has skyrocketed 200 percent since 1973. The report blames what it says is a generation of sun worshippers who associate a suntan with good health.

Lushniak is urging authorities to provide more shade at public parks, encourage schools to have children wear hats and sunscreen, and call on colleges to ban tanning beds on campuses.

Melanoma is the most deadly form of skin cancer, killing about 9,000 people in the U.S. each year.

But skin cancer is easily preventable and treatable if caught early.

Excess exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun and artificial light used in tanning beds are the major causes of skin cancer.

Some information for this report comes from AP.