With daylight savings time here, spring is right around the corner in sunny Florida and South Georgia. Along with spring comes increased outdoor activity and the need to focus on keeping one’s skin healthy.
Skin care is important because skin cancer is a public health crisis in the United States. According to government statistics, each year there are more new cases of skin cancer in the United State than there are of breast cancer, prostate cancer, lung cancer, and colon cancer combined. In fact, by 2015, it is estimated that one in fifty Americans will develop skin cancer (or melanoma) in their lifetime.
However because the Food and Drug administration has not approved any new nonprescription sunscreen ingredients in nearly 20 years, Congress recently passed the Sunscreen Innovation Act (SIA). According to a summary of the bill that Congress considered, SIA will provide the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) with a new process for reviewing the safety and effectiveness of the active ingredients in nonprescription sunscreen. It also will help address the current backlog of applications for nonprescription sunscreen active ingredients pending at the FDA.
The use and availability of sunscreen is important because skin cancer can be a particularly dangerous type of cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, there are several types of skin cancer, including melanoma, basal and squamous cell cancers, Merkel cell carcinoma, skin lymphoma, Kaposi sarcoma, keratoacanthomas, and skin adnexal tumors.
Many people are familiar with melanoma because is a particularly aggressive form of skin cancer. It can start anywhere on the skin, including under the fingernails and toenails. It also can start in the eyes, mouth, or genital areas.
In 2015, it is estimated that melanoma will account for more than 73,000 cases of invasive skin cancer. While melanoma is not the most common type of skin cancer, it is known to be more aggressive than other types of skin cancer. It also is the cause of most skin cancer deaths. Currently, the overall 5-year relative survival rate for melanoma is 91 percent. When melanoma is diagnosed early, such as when the cancer is localized or limited to a small area, the survival rate is 98 percent. If the spread of the disease is kept to a region of the body, the survival rate is 63 percent. If melanoma is not diagnosed until its later stages, the survival rate becomes approximately 16 percent.
Because skin cancer can be life-altering, the Skin Cancer Foundation encourages everyone to engage in a sun protection regimen, including:
- seeking shade, especially between the hours of 10 am and 4 pm;
- avoiding getting burned;
- covering skin with clothing, including broad-brimmed hat and UV sunglasses;
- using UVA/UVB sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher for daily use and a water-resistant UVA/UVB sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher for outdoor activities;
- examining your skin from head-to-toe every month; and
- seeing a qualified physician every year for a professional skin exam.
Choosing A Tallahassee Area Medical Malpractice Lawyer In Failure To Diagnose Cancer Cases
Early diagnosis of any type of cancer, particularly skin cancer, is important to increase the chance of a positive outcome. If a cancer is correctly diagnosed, the malignancy can often be removed and effectively treated with chemotherapy, radiation, or other oncologic interventions. However, if a dermatologist or other physician fails to correctly diagnose or treat the cancer, serious harm can result.
If you have questions about a missed cancer diagnosis or improperly interpreted biopsy, it is important to contact an experienced Tallahassee malpractice attorney to protect your rights, as Florida has a strict time limit (or statute of limitations) for medical malpractice cases. To find out more about how we can help you, please call the tough, helpful Tallahassee lawyers at Fasig & Brooks at (850) 222-3232 or use our convenient contact form.