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May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month

May is the perfect time time of year to assess your risk of skin cancer and get everything you need for summer sun protection.  May is also officially Skin Cancer Awareness Month which means it's a great time to find free skin cancer screenings and sun protection resources. Use Skin Cancer Awareness Month as a personal reminder to do a self skin exam, find a free skin cancer screening or schedule a full skin exam with a dermatologist.  It could save your life.

The American Academy of Dermatology and The Center for Disease Control have designated May as Skin Cancer Awareness Month, in fact, the American Academy Of Dermatology has designated this coming Monday as Melanoma Monday.  Now is definitely the most auspicious time to think about skin cancer and your skin, and it's also great timing. As the weather warms, if you live north of the equator, you'll start spending more time outside, wearing short sleeved shirts and shorts..... and that means sun damage and DNA mutations to last a lifetime.  Decisions, or lack of decisions, that you make this summer can and will affect the future of your skin's potential for skin cancer.  Take advantage of the high quality 'smorgasbord' of skin cancer prevention and detection resources available to you right now. Use Skin Cancer Awareness Month as a reminder to think about your skin caner risk now.
  • Plan your sun protection strategy
  • Learn how to do your own monthly skin exams
  • Figure out if your at increased risk for skin cancer risk
  • Schedule a professional skin exam with a dermatologist if you think your at increased risk for skin cancer
Need a little motivation???

A great example is this patient of mine who saved his own life by saying 'yes' when I asked him if he would like me to perform a full skin exam.  This 'mole' turned out to be a melanoma. He didn't know it was something to worry about.  He had scheduled his dermatology appointment with me for a different skin problem. He could have decided not to bother with the full exam for a variety of reasons.  He made the smart decision and it saved his life.

Find The Great Skin Cancer Awareness Resources Available To You For Skin Cancer Awareness Month:

1.  The American Academy of Dermatology's Melanoma Monday program lists great resources including information on doing your own self skin exams and also free skin cancer screenings across the country. 2.  The Skin Cancer Foundation has this FANTASTICALLY INFORMATIVE VIDEO on their site called Skin Cancer Explained (click those words for the link).  It explains skin cancer with amazing graphics.  I definitely recommend everyone take a look at it! 3.  The Skin Cancer Foundation also has it's Road To Health Skin Tour with a schedule of free skin cancer screenings around the country in 2011.  Click here for their schedule. 4.  The  CDC Website page for skin cancer awareness month has information and a listing of the resources that they provide.  This includes their Sun Safety For America's Youth Toolkit to help schools and other 'educational partners' implement sun awareness/protection programs at their school.  On their site they talk about having received funding for some of their resources and I think interested educators may want to explore just what that means; you never know, it might help bring some pretty cool stuff to your school.  The CDC recognizes that most of a person's harmful sun exposure comes in their childhood years and it sound like they are putting some resources behind that. 5.  If your an educator, click here to register to win up to 50 sun protection hats for your school kids from Coolibar, a great retailer for state-of-the-art sun protective clothing and accessories.  Coolibar is giving away hats to 5 winning classrooms across the US, but the deadline to enter is May 13th and the winners are announced May 19th.  Could be fun!

Get Your Seasonal Sun Protection Plans In Order; dermatologist's recommendations for having the best sun protection for your precious skin

I'm picky about sun protection.  Obviously, I spend my day helping people cope with the consequences of past mistakes and I want to give them the best sun protection advice for going forward. I've got great posts on everything from picking the best sunscreens, to hats and sun protective clothing, swimming sun protection and hot weather sun protection.  I've also created a 'turn key' kit (that I call The Ultimate Sun Protection Kit) for my patients so that they don't have to go on a scavenger hunt to find the right tools for the job.  Click here to see my Ultimate Sun Kit. Check out these sun protection posts/articles to learn the sun protection information that I give to my dermatology patients: How High Of An SPF Does Your Sunscreen Need To Have 5 Steps For Smart Sun Protection Want A Nice Burn Use Last Year's Sunscreen Are Your Summer Clothes Good Enough To Be Sun Protective Clothing Great Sun Hats; What works and what doesn't Sun Protective Swim Wear For Complete Sun Protection 6 Tricks for Sun Protecting Your Skin In Really Hot Weather Photo/Clip Art: Thanks and gratitude to Vectorportal