Today is Melanoma Monday did you know skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States, with millions of cases diagnosed each year. It’s one of the most preventable cancers and highly treatable when found early. I have several people in my life that have had skin cancer in various areas of their body. Some even have had a portion of their lip removed. It is nothing to take lightly as I know my generation, generation x, sunbathed a lot when we were growing up. I remember being young and dumb applying baby oil all over myself before laying out in the sun to tan. Luckily, I didn’t do it often because I would get too hot and even without the oil, I burned quickly and never tanned. We also would use tanning beds. One time I had burn lines all down my back, I mean red burn lines from the tanning light bulbs with white spaces in between. Now they only way I get a tan is by spray tans.
The AAD is the main proponent of melanoma Monday and their website is full of information and visual graphics to help you learn about and identify any possible spots that might be of concern and show you place you should look that maybe you hadn’t thought of. Like in between your toes, I would never have thought to look there.
UV exposure is the most preventable risk factor for skin cancer. Everyone needs to use protection. No matter your age, gender, or race, this PSA video, “Do You Use Protection?” reminds you about the importance of protecting your skin anytime you’re outdoors. Seek shade, wear protective clothing, and use a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with SPF 30+ to reduce your risk. It is estimated that one in five Americans will be diagnosed with skin cancer in their lifetime. When caught early, skin cancer is highly treatable. Use the information from How to SPOT Skin Cancer™ in this infographic to check your skin regularly.
Most cases of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, are attributable to UV exposure. Use this infographic as a reminder to “practice safe sun” to reduce your risk of skin cancer.
When caught early, skin cancer is highly treatable. Download the AAD’s body mole map for information on how to check your skin for the signs of skin cancer. Keep track of the spots on your skin and make note of any changes from year-to-year. If you notice a mole that is different from others, or that changes, itches, or bleeds, you should make an appointment to see a dermatologist.
The bottom line is we can protect ourselves from this preventable cancer by being informed, limiting sun exposure, using sunscreen, performing self-exams, and speaking with your dermatologist about any irregularities or concerns you might have.
You can find more information on the following sites: