Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Interrupting Regular Programming

To bring you this public service message

how many of us remember getting bad, blistering sunburns as children?  how many of us have used, or still use tanning beds?  how many of us are not
very diligent about using sunscreen?
I have never used a tanning bed, however I can answer "Yes" to the other two questions and even answering Yes to one of the above puts you at added risk for skin cancer.

Before Nicole was diagnosed with Melanoma, I rarely, if ever gave skin cancer a thought and even when I did, I had little knowledge of what skin cancer is.  And Melanoma? I knew it was a type of skin cancer, but ignorantly assumed, if you had a funny mole, you had it removed and all was jolly.
Of all the skin cancers, melanoma is the one you don't want to make acquaintance with .  It is a nasty, flighty, unpredictable bedfellow that can turn deadly.

Please take a few minutes to read the following facts, as this cancer is serious and is striking more and more people with increasing frequency.

The following is from Miss Melanoma (one of the best sites on this topic on the internet).  This was a post done in 2008. 

What to Watch For:

 A change in size, shape or color. The features of change to watch for in moles are the A, B, C, D and E’s of detection.
AsymmetryTwo halves of a lesion that are not the same
Borders of a lesion are irregular, scalloped or vague
Color varies from one area to another, including shades of tan or brown as well as black, blue, red and white
A lesion that is greater than 6 millimeters in diameter, about the size of a pencil eraser
Lesions that change or evolve, or is ELEVATED or raised above the skin and has a rough surface

You should also watch for the following skin changes:A mole that bleeds
A fast-growing mole
A scaly or crusted growth on the skin
A sore that won't heal
A mole that itches
A place on your skin that feels rough, like sandpaper

The facts:
*Skin cancer is the #1 diagnosed cancer, and the third most commonly diagnosed cancer among women 20-39 years of age.
*More than 90% of skin cancer is caused by sun and tanning bed exposure.
*Each hour, one person dies from skin cancer.
*One in 5 people will be diagnosed with it.
*One in 41 men and one in 61 women will develop melanoma in their lifetime.
*The rate of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, has more than doubled between 1973 and 1996.
*Melanoma is more common than any non-skin cancer among people between 25 and 29 years old.
*An estimated 7,400 deaths from melanoma and 2,200 from other skin cancers were expected in 2002 and more than 7,800 died from melanoma alone.
*The death rate from melanoma for men is almost twice that of women due to late detection *Melanoma is now the fastest growing cancer in the U.S. There have been no significant advances in the medical treatment or survival rate in the last 30 years.
* One blistering sunburn in childhood or adolescence more than doubles a person's chances of developing melanoma later in life.
* Exposure to tanning beds before age 35 increases melanoma risk by 75 percent.
* On an average day, more than one million Americans use tanning salons.
* New high-pressure sunlamps emit doses of UVR that can be as much as 12 times that of the sun.

And for our finale....

*In women 25-29, melanoma is the primary cause of cancer death, and in women 30-34 it is the second most common cause of cancer death.
*In the U.S. your chance of getting melanoma in 1940 was 1 in 1500. By 2004, it was 1 in 67. By 2010, scientists predict it will be 1 in 50.
*The incidence of melanoma has increased 690 percent from 1950 to 2001, and the overall mortality rate increased 165 percent during this same period.
*If caught in the earliest stages, melanoma is entirely treatable with a survival rate of nearly 100%. If untreated and allowed to spread, there is no known treatment or cure.

Being aware could save your life

.........I consider myself pretty well informed about medical issues, however I was totally uninformed about this particular subject as I fear many are.  I promise my next post will be back to my normal doll, etc., related topics.  This however is too important to



Unknown said...

Thank you so much for this informative post. My husband and I go into the dermatologist every three months to have skin cancer lesions taken off. He worked in the field as a farmer since the age of 6 or 7, and I got sun poisoning on my shins 34 years ago in Miami, therefore he gets the lesions taken off his face and I get the lesions taken off my shins. It seems like in the 60's the in thing to do was to have a deep golden tan, but before the tan comes the burn. I wish I could have had the information back then that is available now on sun damage.
Keep us posted on Nicloe...
Dessa Rae

Flora said...

Thanks Sue, I have one mole that I have been keeping watch on and it doesn't look anything like those but...?

Pearl said...

Never applogize for this type of post Sue it is to important and a big message for my husband. I have told him at least 5 times to go in and get two moles checked on his back and he refuses. I'm going to read this to him as soon as I'm done here. God bless you for posting this I'm going to send it to all my friends and family! Let us know as soon as you can about your daughter. Hugs, Pearl

Vicki/Jake said...

It's probably not easy for you to post this, knowing what Nicole is going through, but bless your heart Sue. We were/are so ignorant of all that goes along with the wonderful tan we think we need. I've been putting things off myself, so this is a kick in the backside to go get things checked. A very close cousin lost his battle with an itchy, then bleeding mole two years ago. It's an ugly thing to go through....

Hugs, prayers and love for you and yours. Remember, I'm here....

Ingrid Mida said...

This was a thoughtful and informative post Sue. Thanks.

Ayala Art said...

Thanks for sharing!

Unknown said...

Oh, sweet Sue, I am sorry that you've had to make such a close acquaintance with this horrible disease! However, this information can definitely help us all, and for that I am thankful. I hope Nicole is doing well...please keep us posted!

michelleK said...

Your advice is too true Sue. I hope all is going as well as can be hoped for.


julie campbell said...

really informative Sue,I just wish you hadnt been in the position to need to find all this out.
Thanks for posting it ,like most of us I was sunburned many times as a kid and it has certainly made me more aware of what to look out for.
really hoping all goes well for Nicole
julie xxx

Lisa Lectura Creations said...

Hi Sue! Great post! Thanks so much for giving us all this important information. Blessings to you!

yoborobo said...

Sue - this is such a great post, and I will add that even people who never were overexposed to the sun can have very deadly moles. ANY mole that turns dark, or changes shape should be looked at by a dermatologist. A good reminder for me to get my check-up. Love to you, and to your Nicole. Thank you for this! xoxo! Pam

angela recada said...

Thanks for this valuable information, Sue. I'm still keeping you and your dear Nicole in my thoughts and prayers.

Terri Kahrs said...

Sue, you've written an awesome post about a serious subject. Thank you!!! Hugs, Terri xoxox

Healing Woman said...


Thank you for spending your precious time on this subject. I hope to present an entire post to cancer as well. You showed facts and allowed all of us to read and become aware of the symptoms. I did not want to even think about cancer because in doing so, I thought that it might draw it to me. Now, after my daughter was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, all I can think about is how foolish I was in not becoming aware of cancer and embracing all that can be done to prevent it.

Thanks again for a wonderful post.

Best regards,

BumbleVee said...

Thanks Sue....

...and hugs to you and Nicole.... hope all goes well with the surgery and recouping.

I must remember to be ever so careful in the summer months now that I am going to be golfing more.... I did burn the top of my ear this summer...and it is itchy often. Need a bucket hat, forget caps.
My regular doc looked at it and says she can't see any roughness at all... but, I'm thinking I should get her to refer me to a skin specialist. They look with better glasses I think.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Sue for posting the dangers of the sun... and with the ozone layer fading it's becoming so much worse.

I pray for your daughters health and recovery.... every day.

She and you are in my thoughts.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Sue for posting the dangers of the sun... and with the ozone layer fading it's becoming so much worse.

I pray for your daughters health and recovery.... every day.

She and you are in my thoughts.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful info Sue and thanks for sharing. I know of someone that has had skin cancer removed a few times. More people should be aware of this but sadly are not or don't take it seriously.

Dorthe said...

Dear Sue, thankyou for this post,---I have had those ,:what to look for-photoes laying in a map-for some years now,- to be able to watch ,if what`s on my body ,now and then,-looks anything like those ...
I`m so sorry about your daughter and pray she will have a succesfull surgery,dear.
Blessings and hugs, Dorthe

Evelyn's Wonderland said...

Thank you so much for the information Sue. I will definitely visit the site you suggested. I'm a native Floridian and in my younger years, I spent a lot of time in the sun.
I will continue to keep your daughter in my prayers and that she will recover from all of this soon.
Blessings and best wishes,