Melanoma is a type of skin cancer. Anyone can get melanoma. When found early and treated, the cure rate is nearly 100%. Allowed to grow, melanoma can spread to other parts of the body. Melanoma can spread quickly. When melanoma spreads, it can be deadly. Dermatologists believe that the number of deaths from melanoma would be much lower if people:
- Knew the warning signs of melanoma.
- Learned how to examine their skin for signs of skin cancer.
- Took the time to examine their skin.
- Melanoma has a genetic component. If you have a family member who has had melanoma, you have 50% greater chance of developing melanoma and should be checked once a year.
- Wear sunscreen with zinc and at least SPF 30 every day. You are exposed to the sun’s rays simply driving in your car and walking by windows at home or work. The best sunscreens contain zinc oxide. This ingredient will protect you from both UVA (aging rays) and UVB (burning rays) radiation.
- Avoid the sun between 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM. Try to stay under an umbrella or shade trees.
- Use waterproof sunscreen at the pool or beach. One adult should use 2 tablespoons of sunscreen. A family of four will go through one and a half 8 oz bottles of sunscreen in two days. Wear a wide-brimmed hat to protect your scalp, face, and neck.
- Wear protective clothing. If you can see through a shirt when you hold it up to the light, it will not protect your skin from the sun.
- Sunglasses with UVA and UVB protection will help prevent damage to your eyes.