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Sunday, June 05, 2011

Melanoma and Summer Fun

You MUST be careful.

Hey folks,

All over the country right now, summer is arriving, Kids are getting out of School, and people are spending more and more time outdoors. Here in Sunny South Florida, you have to be cautious no matter what time of year, but of course, even more so in the Florida Summer. Pretty soon, people will be heading out for Family Vacations, ETC. Kids, just happy to be FREE, will be spending even more time outside. So this time of year, we always take some time to talk about it.

We think about Lung Cancer all the time because of Smoking. We think about Liver Cancer all time because of Drinking. We this of Breast Cancer, well, because we think about Breasts all the time. {Smile} We have Walks, Marathons, Talk Shows. Rush Limbaugh, for the last 20 years or so has raised money for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. This past year, in something like 40 minutes Total dedicated to the cause in the course of One Day, One Three hour Show. Rush and his listeners raised over $3.1 million, including $500,000 from HIM, and $100,000 from Trump. There rest from people just like YOU.

All these are GREAT and NESSASARY Causes to be sure. They are something that we need to think about. But what are you thinking about while at Disney? Sea World? What about Water Park 1,2,3. How about just swimming in the back yard? The one thing you are probably NOT thinking about is Skin Cancer.

Melanoma is the most serious type of Skin Cancer. It usually shows up in the size, shape, or color of a Mole. However, though melanoma is predominantly found on the Skin, it can even occur in the Eye called Uveal Melanoma.

I know what some of you are thinking. So? If I get it, I'll just cut it off. No big deal. It's not like you can die from it. Right? Wrong. Melanoma can grow deeper into the Skin and spread to other parts of the body. The Liver, Brain, ETC. This spread is called Metastasis. Once Metastasis occurs, it can be difficult and sometimes impossible to treat.

There is a GREAT Video that is entitled Dear 16-year-old me. Rev. Jim over on Facebook posted this and said it is one the all should watch. I couldn't agree more. I do HIGHLY encourage you to check it out HERE.

This is NOT Cancer light, nor should it be taken so lightly. Once Metastasis occurs, treatment is more difficult. At this point, melanoma is usually not curable. Treatment is usually directed at shrinking the tumor and improving symptoms:

Chemotherapy is often used to treat melanoma that has returned or spread.

Medications such as interferon or interleukin, which boost the immune system to fight the cancer, may be useful in addition to chemotherapy and surgery. This kind of treatment is called immunotherapy. However, interferon has many side effects and can be difficult to tolerate.

Radiation treatments may be used to relieve pain or discomfort caused by cancer that has spread.

Cancer that has spread elsewhere in the body is sometimes removed with surgery to relieve pain or discomfort
So this is NOT something to be careless about. Did you know, if you watched the Video. you do, that just one bad Sunburn as a Child INCREASES your risk at developing Skin Cancer and Melanoma? Just one careless, fun filled, day in the Sun, could set you or a loved one up for a life changing situation.

So as this Summer Season kicks off, the kiddies getting out of school, and vacations Looming, PLEASE be careful out there. Make sure your Sun Block is SPF 15 or higher. According to The American Melanoma Foundation

With so many brands of sunscreen available, selecting the right sunscreen can be difficult. These tips may help you in making your selection:

Dermatologists strongly recommend using a sunscreen with an SPF 15 or greater year-round for all skin types. If you are fair-skinned and sunburn easily, you may want to select a sunscreen with a higher SPF to provide additional protection. Using a cream, oil or lotion is a matter of personal choice, but keep in mind that most oils do not contain sufficient amounts of sunscreen and usually have an SPF of less than 2. All sunscreens need to be reapplied, so follow the guidelines written on the sunscreen bottle. Gel sunscreens tend to sweat off and, therefore, need to be reapplied more frequently. Remember, expensive sunscreens are not necessarily of better quality.

Choose a "broad-spectrum" sunscreen that protects against UVB and UVA radiation. PABA, or para-aminobenzoic acid, was one of the original ultraviolet B (UVB) protecting ingredients in sunscreens. However, some people's skin is sensitive to PABA, and it also can cause staining of clothing. Today, PABA has been refined and newer ingredients called PABA esters (such as glycerol PABA, padimate A and padimate O) can be found in sunscreens. PABA and PABA esters only protect against UVB radiation, the sun's burning rays that are the primary cause of sunburn and skin cancer. Also look for other UVB absorbers listed in the ingredients such as salicylates and cinnamates.

You should look for a sunscreen that also protects against ultraviolet A (UVA) radiation, those rays that penetrate deeper into the skin and are the culprits in premature aging and wrinkling of the skin. UVA-screening chemicals include oxybensone, sulisobenzone and Parsol 1789, also called avobenzone. NOTE: The SPF number on sunscreens only reflects the product's ability to screen UVB rays. At present there is no FDA-approved rating system that measures UVA protection levels.

Look for a sunscreen that is "waterproof" or "water-resistant," especially if you participate in outdoor physical activity.
By all means, if you or a loved one finds a New Mole, or any marks whatsoever that is on your body, go get checked out. If Skin Cancer can be caught early enough, YES, it can be removed. However, if it is Melanoma, you decide to wait, it Metastasis, it will be more difficult for YOU and your loved ones. It will be more complicated to help assist you in Healing. It may KILL you.

So please, by all means, PLEASE go out and have fun. Just remember to be mindful and careful. A day in the Sun, or a JOB where you work in the Sun, in NOT worth you losing your life.

VIDEO - Dear 16-year-old me. - Melanoma
Pub Med Health - Melanoma
The American Melanoma Foundation - Facts About Sunscreen

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