Today Giada De Laurentiis is standing up to cancer. She stands up for melanoma. A Stand Up To Cancer Ambassador, Giada tells SU2C that the death of her younger brother Dino from melanoma at age 31 made her realize that everyone is at risk for melanoma.
May is melanoma awareness month and the first Monday of the month is a specific action day called “Melanoma Monday.” Melanoma is a cancer that attacks the largest organ of the human body: the skin.
According to the American Cancer Society, “skin cancer is the most common of all cancers. It accounts for nearly half of all cancers in the United States. Melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer, will account for more than 76,600 cases of skin cancer in 2013.”
Earlier today, in honor of melanoma Monday, L’Oreal Paris announced that over the next three years they will donate over $750,000 to Melanoma Research Alliance (MRA) to fund the new L’Oreal Paris-MRA Team Science Award, led by internationally renowned cancer researcher Dr. Meenhard Herlyn, to research ways to help prevent, cure and treat melanoma. They have also kicked off a campaign encouraging people to test their “Skin IQ” and reminding people that “skin cancer doesn’t care what color your skin is.”
One of my best friends, JJ, has melanoma. Tomorrow she will have surgery to remove the cancer that grew back from the last time it was excised and to take out lymph nodes to biopsy. In a few weeks she will begin chemo in a clinical trial treatment. Melanoma doesn’t always respond to the typical chemo protocols and that’s why it is so important that skin cancer receive as much funding as possible.
In addition to large scale fundraisers, friends across the globe are doing what they can to stop this cancer for their loved ones. You can get vocal about awareness on your blog and social media, you can applaud the celebrities that are standing up for cancer, you can run to help raise funds to research for a cure.
The American Cancer Society also stresses that skin cancer can be prevented. Here are some of their suggestions:
- Avoid direct exposure to the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Teach children the shadow rule: if your shadow is shorter than you, the sun’s rays are at their strongest.
- Seek shade, especially in the middle of the day when the sun’s rays are strongest.
- Follow the Slip! Slop! Slap!® and Wrap! rules:
- Slip on a shirt: Cover up with protective clothing to guard as much skin as possible when you are out in the sun. Choose comfortable clothes made of tightly woven fabrics that you cannot see through when held up to a light.
- Slop on sunscreen: Use sunscreen and lip balm with broad spectrum protection and a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or higher. Apply a generous amount of sunscreen (about a palmful) to unprotected skin at least 30 minutes before outdoor activities. Reapply every 2 hours and after swimming, toweling dry, or sweating. Use sunscreen even on hazy or overcast days.
- Slap on a hat: Cover your head with a wide-brimmed hat, shading your face, ears, and neck. If you choose a baseball cap, remember to protect your ears and neck with sunscreen.
- Wrap on sunglasses: Wear sunglasses with100% UVA and UVB absorption to provide optimal protection for the eyes and the surrounding skin.
- Sunscreen doesn’t protect from all UV rays, so don’t use sunscreen as a way to stay out in the sun longer.
- Follow these practices to protect your skin even on cloudy or overcast days. UV rays travel through clouds.
- Avoid other sources of UV light. Tanning beds and sun lamps are dangerous. They also damage your skin.
Watch Giada De Laurentiis Stand Up to Melanoma
Image Credit: PCN