May: a month filled with sunshine, vacations, outdoor activities and…. is also skin cancer awareness month! That’s right, while having your fun in the sun, remember to take care of the largest organ you have: your skin!
This month I had the pleasure of meeting with Leanne and Kris from the non-profit organization Melanoma Know More located right here at The Perfect Small Office, Blue Ash!
Melanoma Know More was founded in 2007 by a group of patients and physicians looking to bring more awareness to the most deadly form of skin cancer: melanoma. Over 8,000 patients have been seen since 2011!
Part of the mission of the organization is to bring greater awareness to skin cancer, specifically melanoma. Considering we are entering the spring/summer months, while more people are outdoors, they want to make sure people are aware about the importance of sun safety and skin protection.
In addition to bringing awareness about sun safety and skin protection, Melanoma Know More also wants to educate the public about early detection. They host FREE monthly skin cancer screening clinics in partnership with Christ Hospital, MercyHealth, St. Elizabeth Healthcare, TriHealth and UCHealth. They host clinics on the 2nd Saturday of every month where you can get a skin check provided by a board certified dermatologist. Please note: due to the coronavirus pandemic, their clinics are canceled until at least July. Check their website for an updated listing.
Melanoma Know More also provides educational outreach at area schools, businesses/organizations and local area events, such as the Flying Pig Marathon, Western & Southern Tennis Open and more. They also help to fund research at the University of Cincinnati.
So, what is Melanoma? According to https://melanomaknowmore.com:
“Melanoma is the most aggressive and potentially life-threatening of the three most common types of skin cancer (basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma are the other two). The incidence of melanoma is increasing at a rate of 3% per year which is faster than any other type of cancer which is about 0.7% per year. Currently 1 in 53 people will have an invasive melanoma and this rate is expected to increase to 1 in 50 people by 2015. While 4% of all skin cancers are melanoma, approximately 80% of all skin cancer-related deaths are due to melanoma.”
Here are a few important facts that should be known about skin cancer:
So, while out and about, ESPECIALLY in the summer, make sure to keep a bottle of SPF 30 – Broad Spectrum sunscreen with you at all times! While spray sunscreens are acceptable and better than nothing, lotion sunscreens have better coverage!
To find out more about free clinic screenings, upcoming events, how to get involved, or about melanoma, head over to their website and check out their social media!