The Good Things in Life > Extending the hand of kindness

May is Melanoma Awareness Month

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May starts the season, here in the Northern hemisphere, of increased activities in the sun.  So, it seems a good time to promote awareness of effects of the sun on skin and make people aware of malignant melanoma.

Just a few facts from

--- Quote ---Melanoma is the most serious form of skin cancer. However, if it is recognized and treated early, it is nearly 100 percent curable. But if it is not, the cancer can advance and spread to other parts of the body, where it becomes hard to treat and can be fatal. While it is not the most common of the skin cancers, it causes the most deaths.

The incidence of many common cancers is falling, but the incidence of melanoma continues to rise significantly, at a rate faster than that of any of the seven most common cancers.

Women aged 39 and under have a higher probability of developing melanoma than any other cancer except breast cancer.

Melanoma is the most common form of cancer for young adults 25-29 years old and the second most common form of cancer for adolescents and young adults 15-29 years old.

About 65 percent of melanoma cases can be attributed to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun.
--- End quote ---

I became one of those statistics last September when a suspicious mole on my back was removed and the pathology report came back as malignant melanoma.  I was referred to the University of North Carolina Hospital Melanoma Clinic and in October had a wide local excision surgery to remove a large chunk from the original tumor area and Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy surgery to remove three "sentinel" nodes the radioactive dye had indicated were the first nodes to be affected had my melanoma metastasized.   A week later I received the pathology report that my tumor margins and nodes were clear of any melanoma.  Lots of rejoicing in our family because had my melanoma spread to my lymph nodes and other body parts, it was basically a death sentence.  There is a reason melanoma is referred to as the "Tyrannosaurus Rex of Cancer".  

Skin cancers such as basal cell carcinoma, squamus cell carcinoma and malignant melanoma are all preventable cancers.  

*  Seek the shade, especially between 10 A.M. and 4 P.M.
*  Do not burn.
*  Cover up with clothing, including a broad-brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses.
*  Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher every day.
*  Apply 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) of sunscreen to your entire body 30 minutes before going outside. Reapply every two hours.
*  Keep newborns out of the sun. Sunscreens should be used on babies over the age of six months.
*  Avoid tanning parlors and tanning devices.
*  Examine your skin head-to-toe every month.  (
*  See your doctor every year for a professional skin exam.

Some online sites for 50+ UPF clothing are:
http://httP://  Plus sized 50+ UPF clothing

As a 12 year survivor of melanoma, I say a hearty THANKS, Dame!


--- Quote from: Ehelldame on April 30, 2010, 05:07:55 PM ---had my melanoma spread to my lymph nodes and other body parts, it was basically a death sentence.  There is a reason melanoma is referred to as the "Tyrannosaurus Rex of Cancer". 

--- End quote ---

This is really scary - I didn't realize this. :(  I'm so glad you were ok, EHD.

Thanks for posting this thread.

I wish Chip would take these stats to heart. I can't get him to wear sunscreen for love or money. He doesn't like the feel of it on his skin. :(

I too once had a suspicious mole removed - luckily it was benign.  But I've very fair skinned and had lots of bad sunburns when I was a child, therefore the need for vigilance.  We use SPF 60 when in Mexico.

I was so diligent about DS #1 never getting sunburnt (he was born in June) that I was putting baby sunblock on him from day 1 whenever we went outdoors.  Never mind that it took several months for me to notice the label "do not use on babies under six months of age".    DS #2 is also very fair like me and even though I was pretty thorough with the sunblock, one area I constantly seemed to miss was the back of his ears.  He did get burnt there a few times, I just have to hope that there will never be a problem.  Overall though I really dislike seeing little children with a "cute" tan (by this I mean that these are kids that I'd see frequently even through the cooler months so I know it's not their normal skin-tone).  My hairdresser has a tanning bed in her salon and touts the effectiveness of a "preventive" tan.  I just don't feel like getting into an argument with her about it.

Glad that everything is okay, EhellDame.


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