Your risk of getting Skin Cancer is REAL. I know from experience.
Get your hats, sunglasses, and sunscreen ready because Summer has finally arrived and with it comes many outdoor activities. While enjoying all that sunshine, remember that the pleasurable warmth of the sun’s rays also exposes you to ultraviolet (UV) radiation that causes skin cancer. Skin cancer is the most common cancer diagnosis, and it’s the most preventable cancer. By protecting your skin from the sun today, you can prevent skin cancer (like basal cell carcinoma) later in life.
We are all at risk.
I have always enjoyed the sun, I never wore sunscreen. I liked being tan. Why? It makes us look healthier and prettier and feel more confident. Or so I thought, until the dermatologist called – Precancerous cells, basal cell carcinoma and melanoma. The only words I heard. I was in total and complete shock.
When I noticed an odd-looking mole on my toe, I put off seeing my dermatologist for more than six months because I have no family history of skin cancer and, to be honest, I was simply not concerned. There is no way It could be skin cancer. When I finally went, a biopsy was done and it turns out, that mole I had on my toe was basal cell carcinoma – skin cancer – I needed to have it removed right away.
Less than two-weeks later, I had Mohs surgery. In Mohs surgery, the cancer is removed one layer at a time, and each is looked at under the microscope. The moment a layer is reached that has no cancer cells, the surgery is stopped. It’s now been two years since the surgery. I still have a scar on my toe (where the mole was removed) and on my arm where they performed a skin graft. They serve as a reminder to me, everyday just how invaluable understanding how to prevent and detect skin cancer is.
- Skin cancer is the most common kind of cancer, and one in five Americans will develop it during their life, according to the American Academy of Dermatology.
- One blistering sunburn can double your risk of developing melanoma.
- Melanoma is the fifth most common cancer for males and seventh most common for females.
- Each year there are more new cases of skin cancer than the combined incidence of cancers of the breast, prostate, lung and colon.
- Rates of melanoma have risen 800 percent over the past four decades, making it the most common cancer among women ages 25 to 29 today — and rates of squamous cell and basal cell carcinomas (once considered “old lady” cancers) have shot up 700 and 100 percent, respectively, among women under 40.
- Each year in the U.S., nearly 420,000 new cases of skin cancer can be attributed to indoor tanning. Approximately 25 percent of early-onset basal cell carcinomas could be avoided if individuals have never tanned indoors. (Skincancer.org)
- While genetics do affect your risk, your own personal history — number of past sunburns, having 50 or more moles — also matters
Save your Skin.
Battling Skin Cancer with GiveFoward.
Mary was diagnosed with Stage 3 squamous cell carcinoma (tongue cancer) in July of 2009. Find out how Mary used GiveForward.
Lycia started a fundraiser on GiveForward to support her father in his battle with Malignant Melanoma. They received great support and exceed their goal! Visit their page to see more.