A diagnosis of skin cancer can be particularly hard to deal with. Even though melanoma is considered the most serious and deadliest form of skin cancer, there is always hope that, in the end, even aggressive cancers can be defeated. If caught early, melanomas are usually curable, but if left untreated, they can quickly spread to other parts of the body, which could lead to a very hard and almost impossible battle.
Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the U.S. Recent estimates, published by the American Cancer Society, show that the rates of melanoma have been on the rise for the last three decades. May is officially National Melanoma Awareness Month, created to reduce cancer incidence through awareness. You can personally join the fight against skin cancer and reduce your risk in a number of ways.
Tips to Reduce the Risk of Melanoma
- Wear sunscreen. If you limit your exposure to UV (ultraviolet) rays, you definitely stand a chance to reduce the risk of sunburn and skin damage. Broad-spectrum sunscreen is an effective means to help prevent melanoma.
- Don’t forget to use sunglasses to protect your eyes and wear a hat to shade your face from the sun. Reduce both natural sunlight and artificial sources.
- Visit a healthcare professional and ask about getting regular exams at your dermatologist. Take plenty of Vitamin D, eat nutritious foods and avoid unhealthy lifestyles.
Always keep an eye out for unusual moles or growths on your skin. Dermatologists have classified melanomas according to these signs:
A – Asymmetry
Look for any moles that are asymmetrical, ragged or uneven.
B – Border
Typically, melanomas have notched or poorly defined borders.
C – Color
Multiple colors, such as brown, red, or white appear inside the lesion.
D – Diameter
Watch for any growths or moles greater than 6 millimeters in diameter.
E – Evolving
Does the mole or the lesion look different from the rest in terms of size, shape or color? If yes, visit your dermatologist immediately!
You can start by helping local organizations >spread the word. Raising awareness in your community and speaking out about prevention and symptoms can be potentially life-saving activities. Resources such as brochures, wristbands, videos and webcasts could prove to be the key to fighting skin cancer.
Educate the public with brochures containing Info-graphics, a list of the risk factors and website links for newly diagnosed patients. Awareness wristbands can also really make a difference. Aside from being super cool fashion accessories, customized silicone bracelets have a number of other applications. They can be designed to create awareness among the community on various causes. As they are made of durable and non-allergenic silicone, people can wear them every day, reminding others how important it is to be united when fighting for something.
Be there for melanoma patients, and show your support with messages such as “Mel-A-No-More”, “Fighting With My Mom to Beat Melanoma”, “Stay Safe in the Sun”. See for yourself how a single product can make so much difference.