Melanoma is one of the deadliest forms of cancer. It spreads very rapidly and grows like wildfire. There is no known cure for melanoma once it spreads. Most metastatic melanoma patients die within 6 to 12 months of diagnosis.
- is the fastest growing cancer worldwide
- is diagnosed in 1 person every 8 minutes in the U.S.
- kills 1 person every hour in the U.S.
- is the 2nd most common cancer in young adults aged 15-29
- is the primary cause of cancer death in women aged 25-30
- will occur in 1 in 34 Americans sometime in their life
It’s best to try to prevent melanoma from occurring in the first place!
Protect yourself from UV radiation year-round. UV rays can reach you even on cloudy days and reflect off surfaces like water, cement, and snow. They are strongest in late spring and early summer.
- Use sunscreen with at least SPF 30 and both UVA and UVB protection. Reapply often especially after being in the water or sweating.
- Wear adequate clothing, a hat, and sunglasses.
- Do not use tanning beds. Get a spray tan instead. (Tanning beds are said to increase your risk of developing melanoma 75% if used before the age of 18.)
- Get a skin cancer screening once a year.
- Be sure to check unexpected places like your tongue, behind the knees, the bottoms of your feet, and your eyes.