The first Monday in May has been deemed Melanoma Monday by the American Academy of Dermatology in an effort to prevent this disease and save lives. Melanoma is also known as skin cancer. The perception of skin cancer is often that it’s one of the “good” cancers, easily identified and easily treated. Given the amount of time we’ve all recently spent shaking out heads over the charming lady from New Jersey known as “The Tanning Mom“, it may actually be a good time to give a serious thought to effects too much sun.
The perception among many seem to be that tanning in moderation is fine because skin cancer is rare and easily treatable. That’s a very dangerous assumption. It’s true that skin cancer can be seen on the surface of your skin. But the changes that are a precursor to cancer can be easily missed. And one of the things that people don’t talk about with this so-called “good” cancer is the fact that it will metastasize – or spread – if left untreated. And it can spread quickly to places like your liver, lymph nodes and lungs.
By taking the time look at your skin and making note of any changes, you can identify problems before they start. Start by specifically looking at moles, freckles, and beauty marks. If these marks change over time in size or color, become asymmetric, have an irregular or scalloped border, or are larger than the size of pencil eraser – you should have them checked.
As we head into summer, Melanoma Monday is a great reminder to wear sunscreen and to remember to put it on our kids. Even one sunburn before you turn 18 can double your chances of getting skin cancer. The following is an amazing social marketing campaign launched last year to promote awareness of Melanoma. It is so worth five minutes of your time.