Many people think melanoma is not-so-serious cancer. It’s only skin cancer after all, right?
Wrong! If those are your thoughts regarding melanoma, think again. Melanoma is actually one of the most gravely serious of all cancers, particularly for women.
- Melanoma is the most common cancer diagnosis in women ages 25 to 29.
- 1 person dies of melanoma every single hour of every day (actually one every 52 minutes).
- An estimated 10,130 people will die of melanoma this year.
- A person’s risk for melanoma doubles if he or she has had more than five sunburns.
- Tanning beds increase your risk of melanoma by 75 percent.
- Ultraviolet (UV) radiation is a proven human carcinogen.
- More people develop skin cancer because of tanning than develop lung cancer because of smoking.
- Regular daily use of an SPF 15 or higher sunscreen reduces the risk of developing melanoma by 50 percent.
Melanoma Personal Experience
If those facts aren’t enough to convince you of the severity of skin cancer (particularly melanoma), allow me to share a personal story…
Ten years ago this August (it’s so hard to believe it’s been ten years), a dear friend of mine was diagnosed with stage 4 melanoma at age 34. Sadly, Julie lived only 14 months longer. She passed away in November of 2007 at the young age of 35. Tragically, she left behind three children who were only 7, 4, and 1 at the time.
I’ve seen first hand the power of melanoma and the devastation it can leave in its wake. It’s not worth it, folks. Protect yourselves!
5 Tips to Reduce Your Risk of Melanoma
So, what can you do? Here are five simple recommendations from the Melanoma Research Alliance:
- Wear Sunscreen.
- Make sunscreen a daily habit. UV radiation can still damage skin even in the winter and on cloudy days. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen (protects against UVA and UVB rays) with SPF of at least 30.
- Wear Protective Clothing.
- Protect your body with sun-protective clothing, hat, and sunglasses.
- Avoid Peak Rays.
- Seek shade during the mid-day sun, when the sun’s rays are most intense.
- Don’t Use Tanning Beds.
- As mentioned above, indoor tanning has been shown to increase the risk of melanoma by up to 75%.
- Melanoma is the number one new cancer diagnosed in young adults (ages 25-29), and scientists attribute this trend to the use of tanning beds among this age group, particularly young women.
- Protect Children.
- Just one bad sunburn in childhood or adolescence doubles your child’s chances of developing melanoma later in life.
In addition, monitoring your own skin is critical. Check out these two very useful infographics for tips on how to do so:
1. ABCs of Melanoma Detection
2. Every Day, Month, Year Monitoring
Another component to staying safe in the blistering summer sun is to choose your swimwear wisely. Cover Swim can help you do that in style and comfort.
Founded in 2008 by fellow Texan Lisa Moore, Cover was the first stylish sun-protective swimsuit line for women. Lisa recognized that there were sun safe swimsuit options for her children, but not any for her. Seeing that void in the market, Lisa created Cover to keep her and other moms and women safe in the sun. Utilizing a revolutionary microfiber material, Cover swimsuits have UPF 50+ and block 98% of UV rays.
Ironically, just two years after founding Cover, Lisa’s sister was diagnosed with melanoma at the young age of 22. Thankfully, the melanoma was caught and removed early, but this personal encounter with melanoma only served to drive home the importance of the mission of Cover.
Our 12 Favorite Cover Swimsuits
To aid you in finding a great Cover swimsuit, we’ve rounded up our 12 favorite currently available pieces.
I love my one-piece, long sleeve suit! I have to say I was surprised at how light and breathable the fabric is. I stayed cool and comfortable all day. I’ve also found the suit to be well-suited to active, athletic water activities. I wore it when we went rafting in Colorado recently.
Two more great things about Cover: (1) Cover is committed to designing and manufacturing in the U.S., and (2) Cover is a partner of the Melanoma Research Alliance.
What do you do to stay safe in the sun? I’d love to hear! Thanks as always for visiting Wear + Where + Well.
Photos by Ashley Cardoza