Did you know?
According to the World Health Organization, one in every three cancers diagnosed is a skin cancer. As troubling as that may seem, it might not give the full picture as to the prevalence of skin cancer. The American Institute for Cancer Research notes that estimating skin cancer incidence is uniquely challenging because of the sheer volume of sub-types of skin cancer. The AICR says that non-melanoma skin cancer is often not tracked by cancer registries, and even when it is, many registrations are incomplete because most cases of non-melanoma skin cancer are successfully treated. So skin cancer might be even more prevalent today than statistics indicate, and the WHO notes it may only become more so in coming decades due to ozone depletion. As ozone levels are depleted, the atmosphere loses more and more of its protective filter. That loss means more solar radiation will reach the Earth’s surface, leading to a spike in skin cancer rates. In fact, the WHO estimates that a 10 percent decrease in ozone levels could result in 300,000 additional cases of non-melanoma skin cancers and 4,500 more cases of melanoma skin cancers. The good news is that scientists with NASA recently documented direct proof that the Antarctic ozone is recovering, a recovery that scientists credit to the 1987 landmark agreement known as the Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer. That agreement, which was ratified by 197 United Nations member countries, led to the phasing out of substances linked to ozone depletion.