Become sun savvy to prevent skin cancers

Published 9:20 am Wednesday, May 13, 2015

As May is National Skin Cancer Awareness Month, it is important to bring into sharp focus the startling statistics of the most prevalent form of all cancer.
More than 3.5 million new cases of non-melanoma skin cancer are diagnosed each year and one in 50 Americans will be diagnosed with malignant melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. This year, 10,000 people will die from melanoma and, at shocking rates, these numbers are taking the lives of young people. In fact, melanoma is the most common form of skin cancer in young adults between the ages of 25 and 29 and the second most common form of cancer for youth between 15 – 29 years old. These incident rates are steadily climbing, with one person dying every hour from melanoma.
The vast majority of skin cancer could be prevented by adequate protection from excessive sun exposure and the avoidance of indoor tanning. Youth, in particular, must be taught how to check for any skin abnormalities and how to adequately safeguard against the sun’s harmful rays. Awareness, prevention and early detection are the very best tools available in the fight against skin cancer.
In May, the Gift of Life will host informative skin cancer educational sessions and invites the public to attend a free Melanoma Prevention and Awareness Seminar on Tuesday, May 26, from noon to 1 p.m., at the MCM Eleganté Hotel.  This seminar will provide relevant and lifesaving information about how to protect yourself and those you love from melanoma and other forms of skin cancer. Summer youth program leaders are particularly encouraged to attend this informative session and learn the essential steps to protect against dangerous sun exposure. Attendees will also enjoy a complimentary lunch, informative brochures and sunscreen samples.
Medical professionals are invited to attend the evening session at 6 p.m., which is contoured to provide cutting-edge information that will expedite the diagnosis of skin cancer and improve prognosis through early detection. Participants will receive 1.5 Continuing Nursing Education (CNE) hours, literature and useful handouts and materials along with a complimentary dinner.
RSVP Today! Seating is Limited. 833-3663 or info@giftoflifebmt.org.
Cindy Stinson is Gift of Life program director of healthcare education and interim chair for Lamar University’s Dishman Department of Nursing.