Sunday, May 1, 2011

May Is Skin Cancer/Melanoma Awareness Month

Below is a letter I wrote to a few local newspapers...none of them have printed yet.  Just a general announcement of Skin Cancer/Melanoma Awareness Month.  Keep a look out throughout the month on my Facebook page and on here for general melanoma facts and suggestions for prevention and detection.  Now, here's the letter...

May brings in the unofficial start to summer, but if not careful, it also brings blistering sun burns.  This needs to be taken very seriously as even one sun burn can contribute to the formation of skin cancer, including melanoma which is serious and deadly.
May is Skin Cancer/Melanoma Awareness month.  Each year, there are more new cases of skin cancer than cancers of the breast, prostate, lung and colon combined.  There’s a stigma that “it’s just skin cancer” and can be easily removed.  If detected early enough, this might be true.  But one person dies of melanoma every hour.  And it’s not just an old person’s cancer.  Melanoma is the most common form of cancer for young adults 25 to29 years old and the second most common form of cancer for young people 15 to 29 years old.  Skin cancer IS cancer and should be taken seriously.  It’s also one of the most preventable cancers.
The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends wearing sun screen of at least SPF 15, and to reapply every couple hours.  Also, it’s important to wear hats and UV sunglasses to protect your eyes.  Avoid tanning beds at all costs!  UV radiation is many times more intense in a tanning bed which is considered by the World Health Organization to be in the same group of cancer-causing  agents as plutonium and cigarettes. 
You can enjoy the outdoors and the walks for your causes, but do so by respecting the sun's rays and wearing your sunscreen!

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