TRENDING NOW - Surgeon General Skin Cancer Warning

By CNN

Published 07/30 2014 10:28AM

Updated 07/30 2014 10:31AM

There was no parsing of words needed here. The Surgeon General says Americans should consider all tanned skinned as damaged skin and that everyone should stop all sorts of tanning immediately.

Nearly five million people are treated for skin cancer each year. That is more than cases of breast, prostate, lung, and colon cancer combined.

And melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer hits 63,000 people a year in the US. 9,000 people die from it annually.

The Surgeon General, also known as the nation's doctor, says this trend has to stop. Dr. Boris Lushniak, the acting Surgeon General says Americans must change the social norms about tanning. Most notably, he says we need to shatter the myth that tanned skin is a sign of health.

The new recommendations for all individuals of all skin colors: To minimize sun exposure; use sunscreen of at least SPF 15 very liberally -- applying thick and often; wear hats; and get in the shade.

And there are also goals for communities to decrease the risk, like providing shade at places like schools and businesses.

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