One person dies of melanoma every 54 minutes.  That is an alarming statistic.  It’s truly unfortunate that melanoma screenings happen far less than breast exams &  pap smears.  The American Cancer Society reports that around 87,110 new melanomas will be diagnosed this year, and about 9,730 of those people are expected to die from them.  That’s scary!

Melanoma accounts for less than one percent of skin cancer cases, but the vast majority of skin cancer deaths. Research shows that the majority of these cases are due to sun exposure.  Is a tanned body worth the risk of a deadly skin cancer?  There is a wide variety of self tanners or spray tans on the market today.  You can achieve the same result as a real tan without the added danger of the UVA & UVB rays.

Even if you are exposed to the sun’s rays during a nice Summer afternoon, it is incredibly important to focus on protecting your skin.  Several years ago, the FDA released new labeling guidelines for sunscreens.  It is vital to reapply often and use an SPF that can protect you adequately. Companies like Image, Obagi & Revision make a wide variety of sunscreens that are good for your skin!

One of the best lessons to learn at an early age is to be cognizant of your body and any changes to your skin.  Learn to view your body with a trained eye.  Get to know the ABCEs of Melanoma. Pay attention to Assymetrical shape, Border, Color, Diameter & Evolution. It’s imperative to pay attention to moles with irregular shapes, discoloration and those that change in size or border.  Seek a professional opinion if you see anything unusual or different.  Be your own self advocate!