Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States, affecting more than three million people each year. Despite its prevalence, it’s a disease that’s not well understood by many.
We’re in the swing of Skin Cancer Awareness Month, when interest in skin cancer prevention, detection and treatment is high. Hopefully you’ve learned something new from The Skin Cancer Foundation that can help keep you and your family safe. But SCA Month (as we call it here at SCF) is also a good time to go back to basics. Here’s a quick refresher on the major types of skin cancer: how they form, what they look like, and their prognoses.
Tia Costello was eight months pregnant with her second child when she was diagnosed with melanoma. “I was angry. I screamed into the pillow multiple times and I felt my baby inside me start to move,” she recalls. “I knew she felt the panic inside. I was scared and I feared for her too.”
Summer is fast approaching, and with it comes trips to the beach, patio dining and outdoor sporting events. These are the occasions when people are most aware that they need sun protection — when they can see and feel the sun’s rays shining down on them. But these aren’t the only times ultraviolet (UV) rays hit your skin. There are a few sneakier situations where UV radiation can reach you, and it’s just as important to protect yourself against potential skin damage at these times as it is on sunny days.
Since doctors first began treating skin cancer, their techniques for removing tumors have evolved rapidly. There have been many valuable improvements over the years, but Mohs micrographic surgery has truly stood the test of time — it’s come to be accepted as the gold standard for removing the two most common forms of skin cancer, basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma.
At the Miss Indiana USA competition this past October, contestants showed off their accomplishments, drive, and talents. Brittany Winchester wowed the judges by sharing her passion for affecting change and was crowned Miss Indiana USA 2017. Brittany was diagnosed with multiple basal cell carcinomas and devoted her pageant platform to skin cancer awareness, pledging her voice to a cause that has affected her personally.
Since it’s officially spring break season, I wanted to share some of the important lessons I learned about sun protection when traveling to sunny destinations:
When I joined the Foundation several months ago, I quickly learned of Dr. Deborah Sarnoff. As I pored over skin cancer research, read up on the history of the Foundation and its important education programs and reviewed countless news articles, I saw her influence everywhere.
Confession time: I am that rare person who really, truly loved my time in high school. Sure, there were orthodontic struggles and questionable fashion decisions, but as a whole, there’s very little I would have done differently.
Hugh Jackman is no stranger to skin cancer: the Australian actor posted a photo of himself on Instagram a few weeks ago showing the aftermath of skin cancer surgery. It wasn’t the first time he’s done so, as he seems pretty keen on raising awareness. The post marks his fifth bout of basal cell carcinoma.