Hi. My name is Katherine Burger. I am a moderator of ILF and I am fighting advanced melanoma, Stage 3 B. I would love you to read this to help you and your family’s sun habits this summer and into the future. Get educated, get checked, and protect your skin… Melanoma is a deadly disease that has actually become a world-wide epidemic. Melanoma is sadly the fastest growing cancer in the world now. While the numbers of other cancers are all going down, new melanoma cases are increasing — and more new melanoma cases are being diagnosed than HIV/AIDS. Utah (US), South Africa and Australia/New Zealand are now the melanoma capitals of the world. Yes, South Africa is in the top 3 now. It is currently the second most common cancer in adolescents and young adults aged 15-29 and is the primary cause of cancer death in young women 25-30. The sad part is more and more young people are afflicted and are dying from this disease – yes, children and teenagers. There is no such thing as a safe tan. Each and every tan you get or your children get, causes irreversible skin damage and ups your chances of getting Melanoma. PARENTS – MELANOMA IS THE ONLY PREVENTABLE FORM OF CANCER! Think about that for a minute….
We are lead to believe that a Melanoma is quite an obvious, rapid growing, misshapen, miscoloured, hideous witch-like growth! Not true! Melanomas can look like any lump or bump, so that is why it is so important to know our bodies and watch for changes. Be on the lookout for any skin condition that does not go away, that doesn’t heal, or starts to bleed. You should do a skin self-examination every few weeks. Check your kids from head to toe and ask someone to examine your back. Most importantly, this is why EVERYONE should have an annual skin check by a dermatologist (not a GP). Also, Melanoma does not just inflict its wrath on fair skinned people. Incidences of Melanoma are on the rise for ALL skin types (especially Mediterranean skins at the moment). So, if you are dark skinned, you cannot be smug – Bob Marley died of Melanoma. Melanoma is highly treatable and has an excellent prognosis if it is caught early.
Being Sun Smart is not just about purchasing a good quality, CANSA endorsed high SPF sunscreen. It is about re applying that sun screen every 30 minutes. It is about using huge handfuls of sun screen every application, and not just small dollops to save some money. It is about making sure that your WHOLE body is COVERED with the sun screen. It is about always wearing a UV protective hat outdoors. It is about making sure your kids only run on the beach with a full costume and rash vest. It is about sitting under an SPF umbrella and not lying and baking in the sun. It is about knowing that you can still burn on a cloudy day. It is about caring for and loving the largest organ in your body…
Have a happy, safe summer folks!
If you need more information, please PM me.