Friday, May 8, 2009

May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month--and Olay wants you to get a FREE skin cancer screening

It's hard to find anything more budget-friendly than "free." Olay has generously set up a program with dermatologists all over the country to offer free skin cancer screenings. FREE. No co-pay, no nothing. No insurance (or anything else) required.

Before you just shrug that off, take a look at some of these skin cancer statistics from the American Cancer Society:
  • One person dies of skin cancer every hour in the United States*

  • 62,480 people were diagnosed with melanoma (the deadliest form of skin cancer) in 2008

  • Melanoma is the seventh most common form of cancer among women

  • One in five Americans will be diagnosed with skin cancer over the course of their lives and one in 200 women aged 40-59 will develop melanoma

  • When detected and treated early, the five year survival rate for melanoma is 99%, but once it has spread, that number drops to only 15%*

  • UV exposure at tanning salons is just as risky as sunbathing outside

  • People with fair skin that burns rather than tans, people with red hair and people with blue eyes are at greater risk of developing skin cancer

  • People who have many (extensive) freckles on their upper back are at a greater risk of developing skin cancer

  • People who have a history of sunburns, especially during childhood, are at a greater risk

  • The depletion of the ozone layer may be significantly affecting the incidence of melanoma
    Exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. and exposure at high altitudes are the most dangerous times to be exposed to the sun

  • Those with an impaired immune system — especially those who have had an organ transplant, leukemia or lymphoma — are at a greater risk of melanoma

  • According to one study, the use of a sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher during the first 18 years of life would cut lifetime risk of melanoma by 78%
Those are pretty sobering statistics, so give some thought to taking advantage of the free screening. You can find a list of participating dermatologists in your area here, and can also email your girlfriends with a heads-up. Heck, make it a group activity, and take a group of friends with you so you can all take advantage of the free screening.
Taking care of your skin is much more than a surface-level vanity activity--your very life may depend on it. Go see Dr. Dermatologist for the screening, and always wear sunscreen!

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