WILBRAHAM, Mass. (WWLP) - The most common cancer in the United States is skin cancer and the deadliest form of skin cancer is melanoma.
The first Monday in May is known as " Melanoma Monday," a day to focus on this deadly skin cancer that kills 8 thousand people a year.
The suns ultra violet rays responsible for your summer tan also increase your risk of melanoma year after year.
Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer and you don't have to be older to get it.
Meghan Rothschild found out she had melanoma when she was only 20 years old after spending her late teenage years trying her best to get tan.
"I started using tanning salons, I would go about once a week on average, but I would go out in the sun unprotected, not wearing any SPF and anyway that I could achieve that tan look I would do it," said Rothschild from Northampton.
Even if you think you don't spend much time in the sun, little periods of sun exposure without protection can lead to horrible consequences down the line.
Mike Carney is a Springfield Police Detective who found out that his days of unprotected exposure, tanning salons and childhood sun burns caused melanoma to develop four years ago.
With surgery to remove the melanoma in his leg and three months of chemotherapy, the melanoma is gone, but could come back at any time.
"I was going five days for treatment, hooking me up to an IV and I would go home and cripple up into a balla nd go back to bed everyday and that's what my day existed of," said Carney.
These survivors told 22News they recommend using plenty of sunscreen, reapplying it frequently, avoiding tanning beds and getting skin checkups with a dermatologist could help save your life.
For more information on melanoma take a look at the American Melanoma Foundation website at www.melanomafoundation.org .