TODAY   |  May 25, 2013

Skin cancer myth busters

Think skin cancer only affects older people, and sunscreen will last all day? Think again. Be smart about sunshine this summer with helpful tips from Dr. Cameron K. Rokhsar, a dermatologist and skin cancer surgeon. TODAY’s Lester Hill reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> deal with the first issue there. if you are not fair skinned, there's an assumption you are less at risk for skin cancer . true or false?

>> that's false. we do see skin cancer quite commonly in people with dark skin color as well. that's a common myth. another myth is that skin cancer is a disease of older people. that's not entirely true. in fact, skin cancer and melanoma is the most common cancer in young adults between the age of 25 and 29.

>> the groups out likely to be tanning.

>> that's right.

>> let me ask you about where you check. i had a skin cancer screening, they look in places i didn't think the sun reached sometimes. it can be anywhere not just on your face which means people may not apply block everywhere they should be.

>> we see melanoma more commonly in sun exposed areas but we see it commonly in nonsun exposed areas.

>> in terms of application of sunscreen then, what place should you put it on?

>> you should put sunblock everywhere including your lips, your ears and scalp for men with sparse hair and other nonexposed areas as well.

>> i put it on in the morning and think i'm good to go for the rest of the day. is that true or false?

>> that's a myth. sunscreen only lasts for two hours. you're supposed to wear sunblock every two hours and when you come out of the water you need to reapply it.

>> and next question is you mentioned early detection is the key. how often should you get a skin cancer screening?

>> skin cancer screening should be done at least once a year and that's because melanoma, which is a deadly skin cancer , can be cured. it has cure rates of 98% if detected early. also people really should check themselves in the mirror and if you see a changing mole, see your dermatologist earlier and not wait the full year.