We are certain that you are aware of the pink ribbons which symbolize the cause of breast cancer awareness and advocacy. Are you aware of the meaning behind the black ribbon?
The black ribbon stands for a deadly cancer that is preying on rising numbers of young people every day: melanoma. Orlando Cosmetic Surgery brings you the fourth in a series of blogs on Your Summer Renewal Program. Because you love to sun and swim, we have turned our attention to skin issues. The most severe issue facing your skin must be melanoma, the “black ribbon” cancer. As we have said previously, what you don’t know can hurt you.
1. Know The Enemy Beneath That Pretty Bronze Tan:
Black Ribbon Fact: Melanoma totals up more deaths among young women, below the age of 29 than any other form of cancer. We want you to know that our gorgeous Florida sunshine is only one statistical cause. Another major source is the obsessive fad of utilizing tanning beds.
“This rise in skin cancer rates happens to coincide with the growth of indoor tanning, which was first introduced in the US in the late 1970s, and is now a $5 billion a year industry here. People who tan indoors are 74 percent more likely to develop melanoma, 2.5 times more likely to develop squamous cell carcinoma, and 1.5 times more likely to develop basal cell carcinoma than non-tanners.”
Crunch the numbers:
120,000 = the number of new cases of melanoma in the US are diagnosed in a year.
68,130 = The number of invasive melanomas,
38,870 = Number of males with melanomas
29,260 = Number of females with cases of melanoma in women.
8,790 = estimated number of people killed by melanoma in the US annually.
2. Know Your Risk Factors:
Black Ribbon Fact: Melanoma is second only to breast cancer in ladies up to the age of 39. “Melanoma rates among teens and people in their early 20’s are increasing at alarming rate. Some dermatologists are calling the report epidemic.”
3. Know How To Take An Ounce of Prevention:
Black Ribbon Fact: Did you know that there is no real cure for melanoma unless it is caught early? Our only hope is to educate people about taking care of their skin in the sun. You guessed it — this means you must use a proper sunscreen, and apply it liberally.Find your sunscreen instructions at our previous block by clicking here. Prevention is the only way to beat this disease. Needless to say, we hope you never even consider the hazardous option of a tanning bed.
There is promising research for DNA treatments to help fight this disease, as evidenced by recent journal reports. “Scientists have found a molecular ‘bullseye’ for a rare form of melanoma, opening up opportunities for new targeted treatment, according to new research being published in the Journal of Pathology.” Most of this research, however is effective only for the type of melanoma that attacks mucous membrane, not the skin type that is stimulated by UV rays. Cancer Research UK’s chief scientist, Professor Nic Jones said, “Research like this is helping us to better understand how this disease works and is the first step towards developing more effective treatments. By recognizing the differences between sub-types of melanoma, we will be able to tailor treatment for patients, so they have the best chance of beating the disease.”
4. Know The Face of the Enemy:
Black Ribbon Fact: Melanomas look like moles; some develop from moles. Melanomas are typically black or brown, but be aware “they can also be skin-colored, pink, red, purple, blue or white.” Experts tell us, “Melanoma is caused mainly by intense, occasional UV exposure (frequently leading to sunburn), especially in those who are genetically predisposed to the disease.”
5. Know Your Responsibility To Your Skin:
Black Ribbon Fact: If melanoma is not caught early, the cancer can spread and encroach on other parts of the body. That is when it becomes difficult to treat and, sadly, often fatal.
Fact: When you put on a bathing suit, check your skin condition. It is not foolish to make an appointment to have your sun-damaged skin examined at Orlando Cosmetic Surgery. Dr. Cicilioni might check for actinic keratoses, which look like rough, scaly patches in sun-exposed areas.
These could be whitish, pink, brown or dark brown patches. He will check for some other types of skin cancer that make small growths. Run, don’t walk, to your physician if see a sore spot that bleeds easily, crusts over, heals and then reopens.
“In melanoma, an existing mole may change or a new, suspicious-looking mole may develop. Special types of melanoma develop in areas of long-term sun exposure. They start as dark flat spots that slowly darken and enlarge, known as lentigo maligna.” As we have said previously, if your skin came with an owner’s manual or a user’s guide, it would demand that such conditions be given your attention.
The staff at Orlando Cosmetic Surgery cautions our readers: Watch your sun. Watch your skin. Watch your back. Don’t let all your pretty ribbons turn to black!