Did you know that skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States? Getting Balance is excited to announce we’ve teamed up with the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) to raise awareness about the importance of checking your skin for skin cancer. In our own families, we’ve had skin cancer scares, a successful skin cancer diagnosis and treatment and a death from melanoma. We grew up in an era where we thought nothing of a deep, dark “healthy” tan. Tanning beds were popular. Accelerating a tan with baby oil each spring was a must. Our parent’s generation used Crisco. Ugh. Now we invest in creams to reverse the cosmetic problems that come from all those sunbaked hours and panic when we notice each new mole. With an estimated 8,500 people diagnosed with skin cancer every day, we want to ensure the members of our communities don’t add themselves to this tragic statistic. The AAD knows that not everyone is educated about the risks of skin cancer, and even fewer know what to look for on their skin. May marks the start of Skin Cancer Awareness Month, and Melanoma Monday is a great reminder to do a skin self-exam and encourage your loved ones to do the same. Although many skin cancers are treatable when detected early, one person dies from melanoma every hour. The five-year survival rate for people whose melanoma is detected and treated before it spreads to the lymph nodes is 98 percent. Why risk your health for a cancer that is so treatable?
How Can You Prevent Skin Cancer and Detect It Early
Getting Balance wants to make sure all our readers are aware of the steps you can take to prevent skin cancer. AAD offers some of the best resources for learning how to prevent and detect skin cancer. The easiest way to keep skin cancer and melanoma at bay is to start with treating your skin well. Applying a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 each day to your skin not only protects it from the sun, but it also prevents skin cancer. Also, make sure you aren’t skimping and reapply every two hours, or more often if you are sweating or swimming outside. Ensure you’re taking other precautions as well. Wear protective clothing, and don’t forget to seek shade whenever possible.
Most skin cancers can be seen right on the surface of your skin, but you have to be looking for suspicious spots or changes on your skin. And if you find something unusual, see a board-certified dermatologist! Getting Balance and the AAD encourage everyone to perform regular self-exams. Look for spots that suddenly may have appeared on your skin and moles that are increasing in size or are discolored, or itching and bleeding. Also, men over 50 need to be extra cautious since they are more likely to be diagnosed with skin cancer than the rest of the population! That means it’s more important than ever to be that nagging wife, mom or girlfriend who encourages their significant other to help with regular self-exams and screenings.
Find Free Skin Cancer Screenings Near You
Melanoma Monday is today and as part of AAD’s commitment to reducing the incidence of and mortality from skin cancer, their SPOTme® Skin Cancer Screening program offers free skin cancer screenings across the country. Simply visit the American Academy of Dermatology’s website for more information on how you can keep your skin healthy and “Looking Good in 2016.” Check their site for free screening locations and get your skin checked for skin cancer by a board-certified dermatologist. In the meantime, make sure you’re ahead of the curve with regular skin self-exams by checking out the infographic below. AAD offers information and tutorials on how you can do at-home exams in between screenings and dermatology visits. Don’t be another victim to skin cancer. We want to make sure you and your family live long, healthy, and safe lives!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of American Academy of Dermatology. The opinions and text are all mine.