May is Melanoma Awareness Month. This cause is very close to my heart. My mom battled this horrible cancer for about three years before losing her life to it November 4, 2012. If you’ve known someone who has had to fight a similar war then you know how awful it can be. Cancer just sucks! No other way to put it. You can read one of my original stories HERE or put the word melanoma in the search box on the right.
There is currently no cure for melanoma. Great strides have been made in the last few years of research. Lives have been extended, but there’s still a very long way to go. My daughters and I participated for our 5th year in the Dallas AIM at Melanoma Walk for the Cure. My brother usually joins us, but was unable to make it this year. It’s quite the emotional day for all of us. But we made it through and raised some money for the cause. If you have any interest in donating, you can use this link. You can also participate in a walk in your city.
Every year I like to post some reminders for you about melanoma. I like to start with the facts.
- An estimated 63,000 cases of melanoma will be diagnosed yearly, with approximately 8,000 deaths yearly from malignant melanoma and another 2,500 deaths from non-melanoma skin cancers. One person dies every hour from skin cancer, primarily melanoma.
- If caught in the earliest stages, melanoma is entirely treatable, but because it spreads quickly, early detection and immediate treatment is critical. Get annual skin screenings by a dermatologist.
- Risk factors for melanoma include fair complexion, family history, severe sunburns as a child, and using a tanning bed ten times a year or more before age 30.
- Prevention should be taught at an early age. This includes using effective sunscreen, staying out of the sun during the strongest hours of the day (10am – 2 pm) and wearing protective clothing.
What are you doing to prevent melanoma and other skin cancers?