Outdoor fun lovers, unite! Join me for the upcoming “Don’t Fry Day” and spread the word
Estimated Reading Time: 5 minutes – The outdoors and our dreams are not canceled. Just like the sun rises, the boating, outdoors fun, and travel season will open, despite the current challenges that we are living through with the Coronavirus pandemic. While planning for future fun times—or taking advantage of downtime now during the quarantine to sun on your deck—also plan to help reduce the rising rates of Melanoma and other types of skin cancer from overexposure to the ultraviolet (UV) rays of the Sun.
We all know about sunscreens, but as you’re reading this post, I want you to think one step beyond sunscreens. I want you to think of the fact that 1 in 5 children today will grow up to develop skin cancer. When it comes to outdoor activities and sports, we may not be focused enough on Sun safety. After all, we are out there to enjoy the water and have fun with friends and family. However, there is a silent killer out there lurking around, named Melanoma, a form of deadly skin cancer. While enjoying life under the Sun—as some call it, “sun worshipping,”—of course, we have all kinds of social responsibility to others. However, please also start keeping in mind a type of sun-related responsibility to ourselves, our loved ones, family, and friends.
Join me on May 22, 2020, for “Don’t Fry Day” and start life-long sun protection habits. All you have to do is just spread the news any which way you can, using the tools of The National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention.
Last April, I covered melanoma awareness in a post titled, “#GETNAKED, before crossing the Maryland line.” It all has to do with sun safety awareness. This year, we are joining the Don’t Fry Day campaign of The National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention. Also, we will be supporting Melanoma awareness activities all year round.
Another growing epidemic in the U.S.
Did you know that millions of Americans get some form of skin cancer each year? As part of that group, about 1 million people are diagnosed with Melanoma. The numbers are going up, silently.
Notably, the number of skin cancer cases doubled from 1982 to 2011, and has continued to rise. You may not be following the topic, but skin cancer is a growing epidemic in the US and patients are dying. In the case of Melanoma, the patients are all around us. A sizable number of them do not resemble the typical cancer patients that we see on the fundraising photographs and videos.
From the diagnosis to the start of the intervention point, depending on their degree of severity, a Melanoma patient may have a few months to a few years to live, because there is no cure for it. Hence, the best tool in our arsenal to fight Melanoma comes in the form of a relatively easy undertaking, avoidance. Prevention is the most potent and easiest act of avoidance that we can all utilize. An early detection is a second tool that goes along with avoidance. I encourage you to join me, get engaged, and spread the word of the “Don’t Fry Day” campaign and take advantage of the National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention resources to help you spread the word.
Sun as our friend and foe, depending on our interaction with it
We all are familiar with sunscreens, especially when we’re boating or spending time on the beach. However, it’s time for us to develop sun protection habits to use all year round.
People of all races and colors can develop skin cancer. However, not everyone is equally susceptible. There are six classifications of resistance to sun exposure based on the six basic skin types. They are: very fair skin, fair skin, average Caucasian, light brown, brown, and dark brown. Melanoma in dark brown skins is often detected in the more advanced stages. So, let’s focus on adopting the easiest life-long habit. The National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention recommends 4 steps:
-Slip on a shirt;
-Slop on some sunscreen;
-Slap on a wide-brimmed hat; and
-Wrap on some sunglasses.
And … Listen for the UV Index report, and have fun in the shade between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
As they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Join me today and start spreading the word of prevention, using The National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention resources today.
Have I turned you off enough? Please don’t — if you are boating or simply spending some time outdoors under the Sun, just be aware of the Sun’s effects and protect yourself to have a safe and fun Summer season.
Well, that’s it for now. I hope to say hello to you if you spot my boat, Life’s AOK, in one of the locations that I am visiting during 2020.
I bid you Fair Winds and Following Seas.
2 things I learned
- For all ages, there are now sizable amounts of SPF 50+ as well as UPF garments available on the market. These garments give you protection while you are outdoors, especially on the water. All you have to do is to search the Internet using the phrase “SPF 50+ garments” or “UPF garments”.
- This article, “How to Choose Sun Protection (UPF) Clothing,” gave me some insights.
4 things I recommend
- Take the side effects of UV exposure very, very seriously.
– Slip on a shirt, preferably a UPF 50+ version;
– Slop on some sunscreen;
– Slap on a wide-brimmed hat; and
– Wrap on some sunglasses—yes, you can have Melanoma inside of your eyes.
- Check out this article, “What is Sun-Safe Clothing?”
- Protect yourself by buying SPF 50+ garments. My favorite is UVSkinz and KUHL; however, there are many others, such as LandsEnd, LL Bean, REI, and Orvis. Other garments listed as UV or UPF Protection clothing are also available.
- Research shows that patients, not doctors, are most likely to spot melanoma. Watch the ABCDEs of Skin Cancer video.