I am very excited to see the Nations Doctor (Surgeon General) stand up and take notice on a familiar skin-cancer prevention message and recognize the impact that it is having on America.
Skin cancer has increased 200 % since 1973 with the dawn of the tanning beds and the hope of acquiring a healthy glow.
There is a 1 in 50 lifetime risk of developing melanoma; nearly 77,000 Americans are expected to be diagnosed with melanoma in 2014, resulting in almost 10,000 deaths costing the US health care system an estimated 8.1 billion.
It is going to take a village to stand up on this issue and make a difference this Surgeon General’s Call to Action is the first step but it will take help from you, state and local grass roots efforts, and organization such as the Melanoma Research Foundation to get the job done.
Those of you tanning or burning your skin this summer should stop!
Seek the shade,
Wear a hat and some sunscreen and,
Whatever you do, stay out of INDOOR TANNING SALONS
Effective prevention of melanoma is two-fold: First, reduce and limit UV (ultraviolet) exposure both from natural sunlight and artificial (e.g., tanning beds) sources; Second, identify and diagnose melanoma as early as possible.
The majority of melanomas occur on the skin; in fact, melanoma is the most serious type of skin cancer. Melanoma can also occur in the eye (ocular, or uveal melanoma), in mucous membrane (suranes (mucosal melanoma), or even beneath fingernails or toenails.
My melanoma appeared unknown to me as a dark patch on my chest, and went away. Than 20 years later SURPRISE -- September 2009 right after my 45th birthday I was not feeling well my body was numb and tingly. Fast-forward 4-weeks of test and appointments to my surprise, I was diagnosed with Stage IV melanoma; it was in my lungs, liver, lymph nodes and uterus.
The Stages of Melanoma - There are several stages ranging from Stage 0 meaning the melanoma can be removed with some surrounding tissue to Stage IV The cancer cells have spread to the lymph nodes, other organs in the body, or areas far from the original site of the tumor. This is called metastatic melanoma.
When I was diagnosed almost five years ago I was told to go home and enjoy the rest of my life. Maybe do nothing. But through research and having a husband that would not give up we were able to find a clinical trail on the west cost for a drug that was going to change they way we fight melanoma called PLX4032. This trail took me to UCLA every month for more than 36 months with the drug we now call Zelboraf. I have now been on the Tafinlar / Mekist combo therapy for 4 months and now showing no signs of disease.
YEA TEAM FIGHTING MELANOMA!
Melanoma is one cancer you can prevent. Yearly skin exams are a must with your dermatologist plus check yourself monthly also ask your significant other to check your backside and those hard to see spots. It can appear in your scalp, between your toes, toe nails, back, if you have a lot of mole you may want to photograph them to track their appearance.
- Wear any sunscreen SPF 30 broad spectrum coverage.
- Wear hats
- Sun Protective clothing
- Sun glasses
- Schedule outdoor activities when the sun is low in the sky.
- Seek shade when possible (10 a.m. and 4 p.m high sun)
- Do not burn. One blistering sunburn can double your chances of developing melanoma later in life.
- Avoid intentional tanning and indoor tanning beds
- Get plenty of vitamin D, you don’t need the sun for this.
Shade is Cool - Melanoma not so much.
No matter what you are fighting keep the faith of the possibilities to come.