Melanoma Monday: What You Should Know

Keep yourself safe while you soak up the sun

Sun protection

It’s Melanoma Monday, a day designated by the American Academy of Dermatology to raise awareness about skin cancer. Summertime is around the corner, and that means more time in the sun for activities like swimming, biking and having fun at the beach or playground. It’s also important to take time to protect yourself from the sun.

Studies have shown that sun exposure is responsible for the development of nearly two-thirds of all melanomas. Melanoma causes most skin-cancer-related deaths, but it’s often curable if detected early.

“It’s the things that we do to ourselves — mostly sun exposure and tanning beds — that increase our risk of melanoma and other skin cancers, so it’s something you really can protect yourself from,” says Jennifer Lucas, MD, a dermatologist at Cleveland Clinic.

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It’s estimated that 80 percent of a person’s lifetime sun damage occurs before age 18.

Dr. Lucas says sunburn is typically the result of applying less than 50 percent of the recommended amount of sunscreen.

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  • Sun&FunGal

    I have decided that our bodies were designed for taking in sun and managing its effects.  I try to get out in the sun daily.  I try not to use sunscreen because of the chemicals.  If I need to cover up I use clothing and hats.  Occasionally I use sunscreen on my face.  This goes against what dermatoligists are recommending.  I don’t hear too many doctors recommending a healthier diet of increased fruits and vegetables and decreasing animal products to combat the promotion of cancer.  I do see a dermatologist for skin checks.  No signs of cancer at 48 even though I had overexposed my skin to the sun as a child on the beaches of California.

    • eightmarbles

      Damage usually shows up later in life, possibly in your 60’s, but it does show up…

    • BC

      You are fortunate! My husband died of sun-caused melonoma – – at the age of 37!