Tips to Prevent Melanoma

Most deaths from skin cancer are due to melanoma, which is when a skin cell that normally confers pigment to the hair and skin (melanocyte) becomes derailed and starts to grow autonomously. To become a melanoma, cells must go through a number of steps, usually beginning with the formation of a mole. Moles are limited growths that remain static, unless triggered to become malignant by additional DNA damage.

Actions and Options to Prevent Melanoma

  • Keep a close eye on your moles
  • By closely monitoring any moles, you can identify if growth is no longer restricted and a cancer may be forming. If you have a mole or unusual freckle that is new or has changed in shape, size or color (e.g. dark brown to black, blue-black or red), you should get it checked.
  • The earlier a cancer is identified and treated, the better your chance of avoiding surgery, disfigurement or death. Early detection is good protection
  • It’s hard to keep an eye on everything. You should make sure you get checked all over every year
  • Protect yourself against solar damage – ultraviolet and infrared light are the most important causes of DNA damage in the skin. Do what you can to limit your exposure to harmful rays:
  • Wear hats and protective clothing (even on cloudy days)
  • Use broad spectrum SPF 30+ sunscreen (apply every 2 hours when exposed). Make sure it is protective against UVA rays as well
  • Avoid unprotected sun exposure (especially 11am to 2pm)
  • Don’t use tanning salons

Last Reviewed 11/Mar/2014

 

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Whilst wielding a couple of dumbbells in a gym class in 2003, Kate experienced an epiphany around the lack of accepted best practice guidelines when it came to staying well and avoiding disease. Kate realized that she had no chance of slowing her own aging process unless she became better educated about her options.
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