Welcome the Sun with Open Arms (but don’t forget the sunscreen!)
Who doesn’t enjoy drinking a Fresh•Local•Beer on a sunny Indiana day? Once spring and summer hit the Hoosier state it’s hard to stay indoors. But, just as it’s important to drink responsibly, it’s also important to enjoy the sun responsibly. This means protecting your skin from skin cancer.
Outrun the Sun is Indiana’s only non-profit organization supporting skin cancer education and melanoma research. Our goal is to educate Hoosiers about ways of protecting themselves from the sun and also to learn the warning signs of skin cancer (the nation’s most prevalent cancer.)
PREVENTION AND EARLY DETECTION
The keys to fighting skin cancer are prevention and early detection. Apply sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher. Wear hats and sunglasses. Perform self-skin exams every month and see a dermatologist annually for a full body exam—meaning the physician examines your skin from head to toe.
Get to know your skin: When conducting a self-skin exam, use a full body mirror to examine the front and back of your body. Check your arms and your palms as well as the folds around your elbows. Examine your legs and feet and look between your toes. Use a hand mirror to examine those hard to see spots, including your entire back and the back of your neck. Part your hair and look at your scalp. Take note of every spot you see and note any changes.
Keep in mind the “ABCDEs” of melanoma:
A: Asymmetry. If you were to divide the mole in half vertically, horizontally or diagonally, the mole should appear the same on each side. Take note if one half of the mole does not match the other.
B: Border. The border of your mole should be smooth, well defined and even; not ragged
C: Color. Moles should be the same color throughout. They should not have different shades of the same color or completely different colors from one area to the next. Melanoma can present itself in a variety of colors: black, white, red, brown and even blue.
D: Diameter. Melanoma may appear in a variety of sizes. Most healthy moles do not exceed the size of a pencil eraser, about ¼ of an inch or 6 millimeters. If your mole is bigger, it should be examined by a dermatologist.
E: Evolving. Has your mole been changing over time? Take a photo of it every month so you can compare each time you do a self-exam. You are looking for any differences in color, shape or size.
NOTE: Melanoma also may appear as a lump or nodule under your skin. Take note of any new lumps or lesions or if anything on your skin changes. These are general guidelines and it is important to see a dermatologist for regular exams.
Skin Cancer Facts:
One American dies of melanoma every hour.
Melanoma is the most common cancer in people ages 25 to 29.
Skin cancer is preventable.
Join the fight against skin cancer by registering for the Outrun the Sun Race Against Melanoma on June 13 at Ft. Harrison State Park at 7:00 PM. Live music, refreshments and more!
Learn more at outrunthesun.org