Disclaimer: The following information IS scary, but like any war — in order to keep yourself safe and reduce casualties,? the enemy needs to be acknowledged, and KNOWN.?
Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States, and melanoma is the deadliest form of the disease. Every May is “Skin Cancer Awareness Month”, a month-long event intended solely to teach and prepare people for how to protect themselves from this unfortuantely common and prevalent disease.
The number 1 rule of Skin Cancer Awareness month? Everyone talks about it: SUNSCREEN IS NEEDED. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.
- Melanoma is the No. 1 skin cancer in women ages 25 to 29.
- When dealing with skin cancer, you sadly can never be too young to worry.
While people think skin cancer is the result of over-exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays, recent research shows it?s becoming more prevalent among a much younger group. In fact, recent literature has identified children (!!!!!!) suffering from the cancer.
- Skin cancer does NOT discriminate.
Although skin cancer is more prevalent in fair-skinned people, (the makeup of their skin offers the least natural protection from the pervasive rays of the sun) this is a disease that doesn?t discriminate. Anyone can get skin cancer. Melanoma does not care what color your skin is, how old you are, or how “healthy” you are.
The best way to protect yourself and your loved ones?
JUST DO IT! (Protect yourself, that is.)?
ALWAYS use plenty of protection when exposed to the sun, whether it?s via sunscreen (at least SPF-30 applied regularly), protective clothing, hats, sunglasses, and/or shade. A temporary tan (or burn) is never worth DYING for.
In addition to physically protecting your skin, keep a careful eye on yourself (and your loved ones), and be thorough — the sun often hits places that you cannot see; the backs of your ears, top of your head, the back of your shoulders, etc. Check these areas frequently, and if you notice the presence of new freckles or moles (or if pre-existing brown-spots change size or color) get thee to a doctor?s office ASAP! I know personally, these doctor?s appointments will likely be nerve-wracking (when it comes to cancer, the unknown always is). However, the sooner you do something, the higher your success rates will be. Catch the changes early, and live long.
Yes, there is an abundance of Capitalized letters and exclamation points in this post!! But, the seriousness of this issue cannot be understated. The sun is everywhere, every day, always, and your body cannot protect itself on its own. Once you come to respect the power of the sun, it’s easier to alter the way you think about sun exposure and understand the gravity (ha) of its’ effects. Eventually, it will become natural to you to want to preserve your (and your loved ones?!!) skin.
New, safe habits — such as constant sunscreen application, hats, umbrellas, shade, etc. — will not only keep you SAFE from the #1 type of cancer, but it will also keep you beautiful. (Truly, sun is the #1 cause of premature aging. For further proof, look no further than these Hollywood A-listers. Why do you think they all look like this?)
Protect, prevent, and stay pretty forever.