Wednesday, October 22, 2014
One thing to do that could save your life
Finding time to take care of yourself when you're raising kids isn't easy. Some days, just remembering to pop a multivitamin feels like a victory. But there's one health thing you need to do that you may not be, and it could save your life: a skin check.
Melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer, is on the rise. Catch it early and it's most likely to be cured. But only about 18 percent of women have ever had a skin check, as I found out when I edited a piece for Health magazine, Are You Getting A Good Skin Check? Last night, I attended the 2014 Skin Care Foundation Gala because the piece was a finalist for a Skin Sense Award, in recognition of public education about sun protection and skin cancer protection. (Master of Ceremonies: Taye Diggs. Entertainment by: Sting and Joshua Bell. Squee!)
Besides getting an annual exam from a reputable dermatologist, you should also be regularly eyeballing your own skin (here's a good tutorial, it takes maybe five minutes). Some motivation: Half of all melanoma patients noticed their own cancerous moles first, according to one study from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. If you're like me and had one too many sunburns when you were younger, or you have skin cancer in your family or other risk factors, or you have a pulse, you need to get on this.
I was proud that the article was nominated, but it was already a win because friends have told me that after reading it, they got skin checks. Will you?
For your viewing pleasure: