Bring It On!
We are getting into the warm sun filled days of Spring and May is Melanoma Awareness Month, and throughout the country there will be fundraisers and races to promote awareness and shed some light on prevention and advocacy for this disease.
Protect your skin!
Your skin is one of your largest assets -- after all, it’s the largest organ in your body. Treat it with respect, care and tenderness. Did you know if you used a tanning bed before the age of 30 the risk of you getting melanoma rises 75%. Scary -- I don’t know about you, but I was one of those tanning bed “Hawaiian Tropics” kind of gals? in the 80’s who was in search of that perfect glow.
Guess where that got me?
In a long-standing relationship with Mr. Melanoma…
Did you know that UV light is a known carcinogen, and too much of it can age your skin and can damage your DNA. Kind of crazy that in Virginia you can still be under 18 years old and get into a tanning bed.
Get your skin checked and often. Current recommendations are yearly skin exams by a dermatologist. If you are at high risk for melanoma, you may need to have your skin examined even more often. This can help you to not only have GREAT skin, but you could even save your life.
Melanoma is the fastest growing cancer in the United States and worldwide. Chances are it will affect someone you love sooner or later.
- You have a 1 in 50 chance of developing melanoma throughout your lifetime.
- Melanoma can develop on anyone.
- Majority of melanoma is caused by exposure to UV light and sunlight (yes, that means tanning beds).
- More men contract melanoma than women.
- Young women, under the age of 39, have a higher probability of developing melanoma than any other cancer except breast cancer.
- Melanoma is the most common form of cancer for adolescents and young adults 15-29 years old.
- When diagnosed early, 99% of melanoma patients survive longer than 5 years. The survival rate falls to 15% for patients with advanced melanoma.
- Seek out the shade, especially between 10 AM and 4 PM.
- Don’t burn.
- Avoid tanning and UV tanning booths.
- Cover up with clothing, including a broad-brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses.
- Use a broad-spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher every day.
- Reapply sunscreen every two hours or immediately after swimming or excessive sweating.
- Keep newborns out of the sun. Sunscreens should be used on babies over the age of six months.
- Examine your skin head-to-toe every month.
- See your dermatologist every year for a professional skin exam.
It’s kind of amazing to think that up until 2010 the treatment of melanoma had not changed in 25 years. Through the advancement of research organizations like the Melanoma Research Foundation (“MRF”) we are starting to see rays of light at the end of this once dark road.
The MRF is the largest independent organization devoted to melanoma. Committed to the support of medical research in finding effective treatments and eventually a cure for melanoma, the MRF also educates patients and physicians about prevention, diagnosis and the treatment of melanoma. The MRF is an active advocate for the melanoma community, helping to raise awareness of this disease and the need for a cure. The MRF's website is the premier source for melanoma information seekers.
For more information on The Melanoma Research Foundation (MRF) visit http://www.melanoma.org