Skin Cancer Affects 1 in 5 Americans. Here’s How Farmers Can Protect Themselves
Each year, more people are diagnosed with skin cancer than all other cancers combined.1 In fact, 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer by the age of 70.2
Since agriculture is an industry that sees most of its work done outside, it is important that you know the dangers of sun exposure and the signs to look out for.
Three main forms of skin cancer
Not all forms of skin cancer are alike in terms of appearance, risk level and/or treatment plans. Because early detection is key to effective treatment, it’s helpful to know more about the common forms of skin cancer. Here’s a quick overview:
Basal Cell Carcinoma
The most commonly diagnosed form of skin cancer, basal cell carcinoma, is characterized by pink or red spots that often become crusty and eventually bleed.1
Melanoma is the most serious form of skin cancer. It presents as spots that may alter between different shades of brown and may have an irregular outline. If detected early, the 5-year survival rate for melanoma is 99 percent.1
Squamous Cell Carcinoma
A lesser known form of skin cancer, squamous cell carcinoma, is marked by pink spots that grow quickly.1
With this knowledge in mind, be sure to check your skin often for any changes or irregularities and consult your doctor with any concerns.
Skin cancer safety tips
So what preventive measures can you take? While following these recommendations won’t eliminate your risk of developing skin cancer, here are a few quick and easy steps you can take to protect yourself against sun exposure:
- Apply sunscreen every two hours—and more frequently on hotter days, when you sweat more. Make sure to use a broad-spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF value of 30 or higher.
- Invest in light, long-sleeved clothing, and take advantage of sun-protective fabric that wicks away moisture for added comfort.
- Wear wide-brimmed hats; baseball caps simply don’t offer enough protection for your ears, neck and nose.
- Plan your day well; the sun’s UV rays are most potent between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm, so do your best to limit your exposure during these hours, if possible.
- Be sure to see a dermatologist at least once a year for a professional skin exam.
Health coverage designed for farmers
We know how important your health and the health of your family is to you. That’s why we’re committed to offering coverage through FBN Health. It takes less than 15 minutes to complete our online application and receive a free quote from one of our insurance brokers—no FBN membership required to receive your quote.
1. Cancer Facts and Figures 2020. American Cancer Society.
2. Stern, RS. Prevalence of a history of skin cancer in 2007: Results of an incidence-based model. Arch Dermatol 2010; 146(3):279-282.