Askanesthetician's Blog

An esthetician explores skincare issues and concerns

May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month May 14, 2012

If there is one consistent subject that I write about repeatedly in this blog it is sun protection.  There is a very good reason for that – non- melanoma skin cancer has reached epidemic rates in the US.  May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month so I wanted to share some important information about the subject with my readers.

According to The Skin Cancer Foundation:

Skin cancer is a lifestyle disease, affecting young women, older men and everyone in between. One in five Americans will develop skin cancer in the course of a lifetime; 13 million Americans are living with a history of nonmelanoma skin cancer, and nearly 800,000 Americans are living with a history of melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer.

But there is good news: because skin cancer is chiefly lifestyle disease, it is also highly preventable.

“About 90 percent of nonmelanoma skin cancers and 65 percent of melanoma cases are associated with exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun,” says Perry Robins, MD, President of The Skin Cancer Foundation. “Everyone, regardless of skin color, should make staying safe in the sun a priority and incorporate sun protection measures into their daily life.”

In my opinion the scariest phenomena occurring right now is the rapid rise in the cases of melanoma among young women who use tanning beds.  Let me be very clear – tanning beds are not safe!  I wish the FDA would ban them entirely.  If someone tells you that tanning beds aren’t harmful they are lying to you – period.

Since skin cancer is almost entirely preventable the key to protecting yourself (and your loved ones) is in your hands.  Remember to:

  • Use a broad spectrum sunscreen – 365 days a year.
  • Don’t skimp on sunscreen – apply plenty of sunscreen to all exposed skin and reapply every 2 to 3 hours when outdoors.
  • Seek shade and wear protective clothing when outside.
  • Don’t burn!
  • Never, ever use tanning beds!!
  • Do self exam to check your moles and to see if you have developed any suspicious lesions.
  • See a dermatologist for a professional mole check yearly.
Sources and Further Reading:

Image from skinsheen.com

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5 Responses to “May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month”

  1. I recommend using an umbrella with UV protection too! 🙂

  2. JennaR Says:

    It is so important that we be vigilant in our attempts to prevent skin cancer/further problems with skin cancer and to instill these habits and lifestyle practices in our children at a very, very young age. I had skin cancer removed from my face in my 20’s and my dermatologist and skin cancer specialist saw many other places on my face and elsewhere that they believe have an extremely high probability of turning into cancer. I did not even know that I had skin cancer. I knew there was a bump (of sorts) on my face but it never even crossed my mind that it could be cancerous (it was white to flesh colored and not extremely raised; though the borders were irregular which probably should have been my tip-off).

    Protect, prevent, and get screenings.

    Love your blog!
    PS- I am still browsing your blog so maybe you already do this but have you thought of making your own skin care and giving a go at selling it on a site like etsy.com?

    • Thank you very much for your comments and thank you for sharing your story. I am glad that you are fine and that everything was caught in time. And thanks for the kind words about my blog. I haven’t thought about starting my own skincare line. The market is pretty saturated as it is. Two lines I am loving right now are Epionce and Tecniche. Check them out if you are looking for something new!

  3. molehunter Says:

    Agreed, the recent alarming raise in cases of melanoma in young women has been shown to be due to tanning. However most cases of melanoma are in older people and are due to a combinatin of genetics, skin type, sun exposure and chance. Early diagnosis is the thing.


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