Back to Basics
We’ve been writing this skin health care blog since 2015, and over that period we’ve been happy to cover many important topics on the subject. At times though it’s good to get back to the basics of Melanoma. We believe this will be helpful to those who are new either to this blog, to the subject itself, or both. It’ll also be a nice refresher for those who aren’t.
What is Melanoma?
Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer; which is the most common cancer in the world. (Yet for some reason, it receives less government cash than any other cancer). Every hour of every single day, somebody somewhere dies from Melanoma.
The disease itself originates within the cells responsible for giving our skin its color. At the beginning, when it’s just on the skin, it is almost always easily curable. However, if it’s allowed to spread into the bloodstream (and from there on to lymph nodes and other organs) the odds of death skyrocket.
It’s for this reason that early detection of Melanoma is crucial. And the fact is, most often it’s the person who discovers it first before his or her doctor does.
Who Does Melanoma Affect?
Every race, every age and both genders. To different extents, of course; but anyone can develop Melanoma. It is true that it’s much more common in Caucasians and other pale-toned ethnicities. But it’s also true that, once it’s acquired, African-Americans have a higher probability of dying from it.
No skin tone is immune.
Women between 29-34 die from Melanoma more than any other cancer; including breast cancer. And over the past 47 years, Melanoma cases among young women in general have ballooned over 800%.
It is estimated that 90% of Melanomas are acquired through exposure to the sun’s harmful UV rays. So, what can be done to avoid it? Quite a bit.
What Can I do to Prevent Melanoma?
In a moment, we’ll give you several ways to significantly cut your risk of getting this disease. But first we’d like to reiterate and expand on something we’ve mentioned above.
Monthly self-examinations are important. Check everywhere you can, including your mouth. Use mirrors to see areas that your eyes can’t reach. If you have a spouse, significant other or trusted friend, ask him or her to check places like in and around your ears, the back of your neck, et cetera.
When having your hair cut, ask your stylist to mention if he or she notices any odd blemishes or marks on your scalp. And of course, ask your doctor to look over your skin at each appointment. The chances are high that he or she won’t suggest it themselves.
Again, it can’t be stressed enough how important speed of detection and diagnosis is with this disease.
As far as the best way to sidestep all of this to begin with, simply practice regular sun-safety techniques. During all seasons wear sunscreen whenever you’re outside. And remember to re-apply it every two hours at maximum. In winter, the sun’s rays reflect off snow, ice and water and back onto us.
There’s more. Wear long-sleeves, pants, shoes, a hat and sunglasses. While outdoors, always seek either natural or artificial shade such as trees or awnings. And try to avoid the outdoors altogether during the sun’s peak hours of 10a.m.-4p.m.
We’ve saved the worst for last with the hope that the following sentence lingers in your memory: Stay away from tanning beds.
Tanning beds are horrible. They can cause skin cancer, and can be as bad for you-or even worse- than the sun’s own rays.
Don’t believe any positive hype you might see coming from the tanning bed industry. Think of them as the present- day Marlboro Man; also from an industry that told you how good you’ll look and feel when you use their products. Different cancer, same end-result.
Thank you for taking the time to read about Melanoma. Melanoma Awareness is our only reason for existing. The more people who we, and other groups like us, can educate, the more lives we can all save together.
Sundicators: The Best Skin-surance Under the Sun!
Visit us at Sundicators.com
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