Quiz: What Do You Know About Skin Cancer?

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. In fact, the disease can affect people of any ethnic background, and it strikes 40 to 50 percent of all people who live to age 65. Fortunately, a little knowledge can give you excellent protection. Take this quiz to find out how much you know about skin cancer.

1. Which of these factors means you're more likely to get skin cancer?

a. Fair skin

b. Having a relative with skin cancer

c. Numerous moles

d. All of the above

2. What does the most dangerous type of skin cancer usually look like?

a. A large irregular mole

b. A rough scaly patch

c. A small pearly lump

d. A large red bump

3. It's safe to tan as long as you don't burn. True or false?

True

False

4. Skin cancer is easily curable in its early stages. True or false?

True

False

5. Skin cancer only shows up on parts of the body that are exposed to the sun. True or false?

True

False

6. Thanks to the wide use of sunscreen, melanoma is much less common than it used to be. True or false?

True

False

7. Skin cancer is usually painless. True or false?

True

False

Your Results

1. Which of these factors means you're more likely to get skin cancer?

The correct answer is: d. All of the above

All of these conditions can increase your risk of skin cancer. You're also more likely to develop the disease if you live in a hot, sunny place, if you had frequent sunburns as a child, or if you've had skin cancer before.

2. What does the most dangerous type of skin cancer usually look like?

The correct answer is: a. A large, irregular mole

Any of these may be a sign of skin cancer, but only the abnormal mole could signal melanoma, the type of skin cancer that's most likely to grow and spread. If you have an odd-looking mole, give it the ABCDE test: Most melanomas are Asymmetrical, have irregular Borders, are uneven in Color, and have a Diameter larger than that of a pencil eraser, and have a shape that is Evolving. If the mole fits this description, see a dermatologist right away.

3. It's safe to tan as long as you don't burn. True or false?

The correct answer is: False

Sunburn is undoubtedly one of the biggest causes of skin cancer, but a tan is far from harmless. Every time your skin turns a shade darker, skin cells get damaged by the sun's ultraviolet rays. After many years, that damage can add up to cancer. And by the way, tanning at a salon isn't any safer than doing it the old-fashioned way.

4. Skin cancer is easily curable in its early stages. True or false?

The correct answer is: True

Experts say the cure rate for skin cancer would be close to 100 percent if every person with the disease sought medical care quickly. That's why it's so important to know the signs of skin cancer and be vigilant. Give yourself a regular skin self-exam in front of a full-length mirror, and use a handheld mirror to check hard-to-see places.

5. Skin cancer only shows up on parts of the body that are exposed to the sun. True or false?

The correct answer is: False

Most often, skin cancer shows up on the face, arms, neck, and other places that get plenty of sun, but the disease can strike anywhere. When giving yourself a skin self-exam, don't forget to check regions like the skin between your buttocks or around your genitals.

6. Thanks to the wide use of sunscreen, melanoma is much less common than it used to be. True or false?

The correct answer is: False

Wearing sunscreen is extremely important, but it won't entirely protect you if you're overexposed to sunlight. People are living longer and getting more sun than they used to, and that adds up to more cases of melanoma. Compared with someone born in 1930, a person born in 1999 has a 1,900 percent greater chance of developing the disease. Your best bet for enjoying the outdoors is to not only use sunscreen, but cover up with a hat, long-sleeved shirt, and pants -- and avoid direct sunlight between the hours of 10 and 3.

7. Skin cancer is usually painless. True or false?

The correct answer is: True

If you wait for that odd-looking patch of skin to start hurting before you see a doctor, you may be waiting until it's too late.

References

National Cancer Institute. What You Need to Know About Skin Cancer

Centers for Disease Control. Skin Cancer: Preventing America's Most Common Cancer.

American Cancer Society. Overview: Skin Cancer--Melanoma.

Skin Cancer Foundation. About Melanoma.

Mayo Clinic. Skin Cancer.

American Cancer Society. Skin Cancer Facts.

American Cancer Society. How Many People Get Melanoma Skin Cancer?

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