I know two people who have died from Melanoma. Hell, I lived with the two people that I know that died from Melanoma; my friend and old roommate Dan Howard and my dad.
My friend Pam (Dan's widow) over the past few years has organized a team for the Noreen O'Neill Foundation for Melanoma Research Running for Cover 5k race to raise money for Melanoma research. Our family has donated and participated over the past few years. This year's race was this past Sunday and Lauren and I took Max and Wyatt down town to participate. Lauren ran in the 5k race and the boys and I ate all the free Tastykakes (a sponsor of the event) we could get our hands on. If you are not familiar with Tastykakes, well you should familiarize yourself with this Philly based company.
It is always a good feeling to know that one can eat their weight in Strawberry Fruit and Yogurt Breakfast Bars and that some good can come out of it. Like these good news articles about Melanoma research.
New Drug Extends Lives of Melanoma Patients
New Drug PLX-4032
Melanoma Master Cells Identified
Melanoma is one of those cancers that if one takes the right steps they can dramatically reduce their chances of developing the disease. These steps are quite simple; limit your time in direct sun light and wear sun screen. It is even more important that you take these steps with your kids. Children get 80% of their lifetime sun exposure before the age of 18, so it is important to protect them. Protecting the skin during the first 18 years of life can reduce the risk of some types of skin cancer by up to 78%.
Early detection is key in fighting Melanoma. Having a dermatologist do a skin cancer screening is the best solution to early detection. During a skin cancer screening, your doctor will inspect your skin from head to toe—including areas not exposed to the sun. They will record the location size and color of any mole and compare those records with each visit.
However some Melanomas can grow fast and you should always check your skin for new moles as well as any changes in existing moles. Melanoma can grow on areas of your skin that you cannot see, like your back, so have a loved one inspect these areas from time to time.
I am always telling Lauren I need to inspect her exposed body for moles. She always thinks I have ulterior motives.