PCMA Letter: The most common of all cancers

DID YOU KNOW that skin cancer is the most common of all cancers? To give you an example, more people in the United States were diagnosed with skin cancer in 2009 than breast, prostate, colon, and lung cancers combined.

There are several factors that might put you at more risk than others for skin cancer, but unfortunately, it is the most common cancer because it can happen to anyone. The American Cancer Society identifies certain increased risks for skin cancer as follows:

  • If you’ve had too much exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation (from sunlight or tanning beds and lamps)
  • If you have pale skin (easily sunburned, don’t tan much or at all, or have natural red or blond hair)
  • If you’ve ever been exposed to large amounts of coal tar, paraffin, arsenic compounds, or certain types of oil
  • If you or members of your family have had skin cancers
  • If you have multiple or unusual moles
  • If you’ve had severe sunburns in the past
  • If your immune system is weakened
  • If you’re age 65 years or more (but melanomas can occur in people of any age)

The members of the Polk County Medical Association (PCMA) want you and your family to take the proper precautions this summer — and every day of the year — to protect your skin. Make sure you read this month’s column by Dr. Ulyee Choe, the director of the Florida Department of Health in Polk County and a PCMA member.

On a side note, we’d like you to mark your calendars and RSVP for an event you don’t want to miss. Our Fifth Annual Casino Night fundraiser is coming up Saturday, October 24. The event will be hosted by Fields Motorcars Mercedes Benz, 4141 North Florida Avenue in Lakeland. Entertainment for the evening will include casino table games (played with fake currency, of course), as well as a silent auction, music, food, drinks, and more! The proceeds from this event go directly toward We Care of Polk County and the Polk County Medical Foundation. For more information about tickets or how you could become a partnering sponsor, please call Jackie Courtney in our office at (863) 644-4051.


Arvind B. Soni, MD
Director of Radiation Oncology
St. Joseph’s Hospital, BayCare Health System
President, Polk County Medical Association

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