As the weather gets warmer and summer draws closer, our thoughts turn toward enjoying some of the great beaches that Nassau County has to offer. Before the summer season begins, I would like to remind everyone that May is Melanoma Awareness Month because it is far too easy to forget about sun safety while enjoying the outdoors.
Skin cancer and Melanoma is the fastest growing cancer in America but can be prevented or cured through early diagnosis. Someone dies hourly from this disease. 2012 statistics show that one in five will get some form of skin cancer. Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer and has a lifetime risk of 1 in 50. By comparison, in 1935, the disease struck only 1 in 1,500.
Few people realize that Melanoma is the most common form of cancer in young adults 20 – 35 year old and second most common among 15-29 year olds. Statistics indicate there will be more than 76,250 new cases of Melanoma in the United States and more than 9,180 people who will die of this disease, which translates into one death from Melanoma every hour of every day.
There are certain precursors that will indicate if you’re more susceptible to skin cancer. For example, people who are fair skinned or who are breast cancer survivors are more likely to get Melanoma. However, people of color are also at risk. While statistics for African Americans are 20% less, their mortality rate is higher.
I urge all residents to get regular check-ups, and if you see anything unusual, visit your doctor immediately. If skin cancer is recognized and treated early, it is nearly 100 percent curable. Be smart, get a head start, and get checked out today.