Every eleven minutes a person dies from melanoma.
The tragic and infuriating thing about this is that melanoma is completely preventable if we implement the right behaviors for ourselves and our families from the beginning. Also worth noting is that there is a 97% survival rate through early detection. This means that again we have an opportunity to control how much the melanoma affects us. So with the power to fight melanoma in our hands, which wouldn’t we change the statistics?
This first step in the fight against melanoma is to protect yourself so that it doesn’t happen in the first place. Here are some tips to help with this.
- Put a broad spectrum sunscreen on exposed parts of your body every day to start the day. You should have a sunscreen on your face; most foundations or base creams will have this built in so you are accomplishing this just by putting on your makeup.
- Putting heavier sunscreen on exposed skin half an hour prior to spending any longer period of time in the sun, such as playing sport, walking the dog, swimming, gardening or sunbathing. Reapply this every two hours that you are out in the sun, or if you have been swimming.
- Don’t let yourself burn.
- Wear a hat, shirt and sunglasses.
- Stay out of direct sunlight between 11am and 3pm.
- Avoid tanning beds
- If you are responsible for any children, you must follow all these steps too. If you have a baby younger than six months he should not be in direct sunlight at all.
- Become aware of when you are out in the sun. Every minute adds on to the effect UV has on your skin. You may not be staying in the sun for any length of time, so you think it’s unnecessary to protect yourself for instance if you’re driving, waiting at the bus stop, or doing the school pickup. It all adds up.
The choice is absolutely and completely up to you; you have the power to prevent melanoma. So why wouldn’t you?