Friday, June 14, 2013

Soak it up- Protect Your Health

Can I get on a soap box for one minute? I promise it will be worth my rant to read this post. Summer is here, which means pool days, boating trips, wilderness hikes, beach vacations and many BBQ’s! It also means lots of exposure to the intense summer sun. I was diagnosed with skin cancer (melanoma) about 2 years ago so protecting against the dangers of the harsh rays is something that I am passionate about. I am thankful to be cancer free now but that doesn’t mean I remain ignorant and ignore my health concerns. I want you to enjoy everything summer has to offer but I also want you to be smart and wear sunscreen. That’s all I’m asking- lather up your favorite Banana Boat, coconut smelling sun lotion. A couple applications of at least SPF 15 (do not go lower than that) during your summer picnic will do the trick. Ladies, I know having beautiful tan skin is a summer must. I understand and I’m right there with you, however you can still get that summer bronze through a low grade SPF (i.e. SPF 15). You can read more about different sun screens, types of skin cancer and my cancer story in my previous post Summer Sun Protection.

What I really want to encourage ya’ll to do this summer is get screened. There are many free skin cancer screenings that happen in most cities and it’s very important that everyone checks their skin regularly. Early detection is crucial and can be the number one reason skin cancer diagnoses are cured. I know this is true for me. If I had not had my “concerning” mole removed, it could have developed into something much more serious. I know from experience how much skin cancer sucks- I want to protect you from what I had to go through. I don’t mean to be a Debbie Downer, but trust me- hearing the truth about the dangers of the summer sun now will be much less of a downer than actually getting cancer.
Do me a favor, ok? Be wise this summer and put on sunscreen. Also, please take advantage of the free screenings in your area- it could save your life.

Here are the resources to find the screenings in your area

The Skin Cancer Foundation and Rite Aid are providing free skin screenings in a mobile unit through

The American Academy of Dermatology as a locator for you to find free screenings in your state.

The American Society for Dermatologic Surgery also offers a locator for free screenings.

Patios in the summer; it’s what we do!

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