May is Melanoma Awareness Month

Every 8 minutes, someone will be diagnosed with melanoma. Every hour someone will die from the disease in the US alone. But it’s totally preventable if you catch it early! May is Melanoma Awareness month and I want to be sure to share more info with you!

 skin cancer awareness month

The Facts:

  • Melanoma is most common in MEN over the age of 50, in front of colon, prostate and lung cancer.
  • 1 in 50 Americans have a lifetime risk of developing melanoma.
  • In 2009, nearly 63,000 were diagnosed with melanoma in the United States, resulting in approximately 8,650 deaths.
  • The projected numbers (according to the American Cancer Society) for 2013 are even higher with 76,690 diagnosis and 9,480 deaths.
  • Not just for the fair-skinned, anyone can get it, regardless of age, sex or race.
  • If not caught early, melanoma is known to be the most deadly of all skin cancers.
  • Melanoma can also occur in the eye, the mucous membranes or even underneath fingernails and toenails.
  • Exposure to tanning beds before age 30 increases a person’s risk of developing melanoma by 75%, and younger people who regularly use tanning beds are eight times more likely to develop melanoma than people who have never used them.
  • Read more facts here:

Why is Melanoma Different?

  • It can take on a variety of appearances.
  • It can mimic benign skin growths which delays the diagnosis.
  • Melanoma can also spread to other organs even when it appears as a small speck or growth on the skin.
  • Once it spreads, prognosis dramatically worsens.

Early detection of melanoma is essential to improve the prognosis

  • In its early stages, melanoma can be successfully removed and monitored by regular skin screenings.
  • Survival rates can exceed 90 – 95 percent in early stage melanoma.
  • In its most advanced stages, melanoma can be deadly as few treatment options exist.
  • Survival rates drop to less than 20 percent when melanoma has spread to other organs.

There are several steps you can take in order to help increase your chances of detecting a melanoma early.

  • Carefully examine your skin once a month. If you notice any changes, consult a dermatologist right away.
  • If melanoma runs in your family, make sure all of your family members are checked regularly by a dermatologist once or twice a year.
  • Protect yourself from UV radiation by practicing safe sun habits:
    • Avoid the sun during the peak hours (generally 10AM – 4PM)
    • Use sunscreen daily. Sunscreen should contain elements which block both UVA and UVB rays and should have an SPF of at least 30. Sunscreen should be reapplied every two hours and after sweating or swimming. Do not use a sunscreen to spend more time in the sun.
    • Wear protective clothing, ex: wide brimmed hat, long sleeved shirts/pants, and sunglasses.
    • Avoid tanning salons. Exposure to tanning salons increases your risk of melanoma.

    how to self screenHow to Self Screen:

What you’ll need: a bright light; a full-length mirror; a hand mirror; two chairs or stools; a blow-dryer.

  1. Examine head & face, using 1 or 2 mirrors. Use blow-dryer to inspect scalp.
  2. Check hands, including nails. In full-length mirror, examine elbows, arms, underarms.
  3. Focus on neck, chest, and torso. Women: Check under breasts.
  4. With back to the mirror, use hand mirror to inspect back of neck, shoulders, upper arms, back, buttocks, legs.
  5. Sitting down, check legs and feet, including soles, heels, and nails. Use hand mirror to examine genitals.

 

In the meantime, be sure to check out the following products:

RF-SPF-30-Body-Sunscreen

tanner bh

RF-SPF-25-Lip-Shield

Committed to providing the best level of sun protection available, Stanford-trained dermatologists Dr. Katie Rodan and Dr. Kathy Fields have developed SHIELDrf sunscreen technology, a proprietary combination of ingredients which maximizes UVA protection while maintaining elegant aesthetics. READ ALL ABOUT IT HERE!!

 

With so many people at risk for skin cancer, specifically melanoma, we want to know about you.  

How often do you get checked for melanoma and other forms of skin cancer?

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