Information on melanoma prevention has come too late for the tens of thousands of Americans diagnosed with the deadliest form of skin cancer.
Just how deadly melanoma is reflected in its majority share of all skin cancer deaths and this is despite its rare occurrence of just 5 percent in all skin cancer cases.
Unfortunately, its incidence rates are on the rise for the last 3 decades especially in older white males and young white females.
Importance of Prevention
Obviously, melanoma prevention is of critical importance if and when you value your life. Melanoma Skin Cancer will definitely cut your life shorter than you had planned, if and when early detection and appropriate treatment are not applied in your case.
But there are other no less important reasons to adopt prevention methods for melanoma.
• Treatment costs for melanoma increase in direct proportion to the progressively higher stages of the disease. For in situ tumors, your expenses can amount to $5,000 while Stage IV melanoma entails at least $160,000 for treatments.
You have to spend for adjuvant treatment, palliative care, biochemotherapy and neutropenic fever, among others. Although medical insurance can cover part of these costs, the financial burden can be difficult to bear for your family.
• Side effects for the treatment options are no walks in the park either. Your doctor will strive to lessen the intensity, severity and duration of the side effects but these will be present, nonetheless.
For example, surgery to remove the tumors can lead to keloid scars. Lymph node removal results in a weaker immune system with lesser ability to fight off infections.
Chemotherapy results in hair loss, extreme nausea and vomiting, and poor appetite. Biological therapy side effects include skin rashes, diarrhea and shortness of breath.
Once you start to feel the physical and psychological pain of melanoma, you will start regretting your ignorance and apathy for the simple prevention methods. These ways could have saved your skin and spared your family the anguish that comes with skin cancer.
Insights into Prevention
If you have yet to develop melanoma, adopt the following melanoma prevention methods. Your commitment to these methods must be doubled when you have the risk factors like fair skin, history of sunburn from childhood, excessive sun exposure, family history and uncharacteristic moles, among others.
• Avoid exposing yourself to the midday sun, which is generally considered to span the time from 10AM to 4PM depending on your location. This is true regardless of the season, be it summer or winter, as the sun's rays can penetrate cloud cover.
• Apply sunscreen with an SPF 15 at least whenever and wherever you will be exposed to the sun's rays. Be sure to apply on all exposed areas of the face and body even the scalp for good measure.
• Wear clothes with ultraviolet protection called uv protective clothing like shirts, pants and hats.
• Don sunglasses with both UVA and UVB protection when going outdoors.
• Avoid tanning under the sun or in tanning beds. Both have been proven to increase the risks for melanoma. If you want a tan, try the ones in a bottle for fake tans but still golden tan.
We must all take melanoma prevention seriously. We don't want to be part of the incidence and mortality rates of the deadliest form of skin cancer, do we?
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