In my hemisphere, summer is upon us and that means lots of sunshine and outdoor fun. It also means exposure to the damaging rays of the sun.
I had skin cancer (malignant melanoma) back in 1999, and they theorize it could have been a result of the many sunburns I received when I was young. I was successfully treated, but in the process I learned a lot about skin cancer and I want to share some of that so you don't have to experience it first hand.
One of the disconcerting things I learned was just how fast skin cancer can kill you. Consider this from the Association for International Cancer Research (AICR):
Malignant melanoma can be one of the most dangerous types of cancer. They all spread into nearby tissues, but some grow faster and spread further than others. If diagnosed late, treatment is not usually able to cure the cancer.
The good news is that the earlier you detect skin cancer, the better the prognosis for survival. The other good news is that you can greatly decrease your risk by taking a few, straight-forward precautions.
With that in mind, please check out my posts from last year on how to recognize skin cancer and some of the precautions you can take to protect your skin:
There is also an excellent collection of articles about this in the latest print edition of Reader's Digest, complete with pictures of various types of skin cancers to help you identify them when you see them. Check out the online version here:
- Burned by the Sun (and take a look at their "Related Articles" links, too)
And use your sunscreen. Please.