Many of you have read about my Melanoma story so you may be wondering why I am speaking about it again.
I want to strongly get the message out that Melanoma can be prevented and here’s how.
Melanoma is around the 3rd highest cause of cancer in Australia and is increasing all over the world.
I found out that, redheads with blue eyes, like me, whilst the rarest in the human race, are the most susceptible to melanoma. This does not mean that it doesn’t affect everyone.
It doesn’t help that we are all accustomed to believe that tans are beautiful and cannot wait to hit the beach every summer. But what we’re doing is literally cooking our skin and exposing it to harmful radiation.
I cringe at how often I hear people saying “they had a healthy tan”. No such thing. Tanned skin is damaged skin. Thankfully for tinted creams people can achieve a similar result without the danger.
In my quest to get the message of prevention out, I have been invited by Cancer Council NSW to be an Ambassador and share my story with organisations in the hope to educate and encourage people to take action to prevent Melanoma.
The reason that Melanoma can be prevented is because it is a visual cancer. You can see if you have a spot or something that just doesn’t look right and quickly get to a skin specialist to get it checked. Caught early, the treatment is very simple.
Before you get to that stage though and prevent sun damage here’s some guidelines:
- Stay out of the sun as much as possible between the hours of 10am-4pm.If you have to be in the sun make sure you are covered in clothing or sunblock. It is not the heat that causes Melanoma, but the UV rays which are strongest during these hours
- Wear sunscreen on all exposed skin and re-apply after 2 hours
- Wear wide brimmed hats when out in the sun, paying particular attention to your ears
- If children and babies wont wear hats, apply sunscreen to their scalp
- Regardless of cloudy days or cold weather, the sun’s harmful rays are still there. Cover up at all times during 10am-4pm
- A tan from the sun IS NOT healthy.
- Remember if you’re not sure about a spot or blemish don’t think it’s nothing. Get to your doctor.
- Ask a family member or friend to check your back and scalp for you
One of the scariest words you will ever hear from your doctor is Cancer.
Nothing can prepare you for it, nor the thoughts and emotions which begin to take over. Everyone is somehow affected by cancer, whether it be through your own diagnosis or that of close family, friends and colleagues.
The best thing about Melanoma is that it can be so preventable and we all know prevention is better than cure, particularly in the case of cancer.
Prevention plays a big role in helping to eliminate this disease and Cancer Council and organisations like them, can help you with lots of information if you are unsure. In NSW, the number is 13 11 20.
Cancer Council strives to achieve a world without Cancer and through the efforts of many staff, volunteers and fundraising this will be achieved. If you would like to support Cancer Council please click on this link. Every little bit helps.
Their tireless work stems across 5 main areas.
Research, Prevention, Information and Support, Advocacy and Fundraising.
Next week I will speak more about, my Melanoma diagnosis and that of my 14 year old son. Click here to subscribe to my blog so you wont miss out.
Until next time
Look feel live your best and decide today to live for tomorrow.