Skin Cancer: Avoiding and Surviving

The worst souvenir one can possibly bring back from a vacation in the sun is skin cancer. Of course, you don’t really know it at the time, but later on in life when some strange looking moles began to appear, you will learn the horrible truth.

Skin cancer is a very serious problem for those who travel to far off destinations and binge tan during their two weeks of holidays. The sun is not your friend, especially if you live somewhere like England and your lily white skin doesn’t see much of it until you head out on vacation and shock your skin with extreme doses of solar radiation.

Rosanna de Lisle learned this the hard way, according to a recent article she has written for the Telegraph. The Brit, who used to holiday in Australia many years ago, was recently diagnosed with a cancerous melanoma which probably began developing more than a decade ago while she was Down Under.

She’s had the mole successfully removed, but not everyone is so lucky. Melanomas can be fatal if not caught early.

Something rather interesting she discovered during the frantic research conducted after being diagnoses was the following statistic:

“Australia has by far the highest rate of melanoma in the world – 8,800 cases a year, among a population of just 20 million – but fewer than 1,000 deaths, about half the number in Britain.”

Australia is located underneath a rather massive hole in the ozone layer and this wrecks havoc on Aussie skin. They are painfully aware of this danger, however, and are extraordinary proactive in having moles regularly checked. This is not the case in Britain where, according to de Lisle, “the death rate for those diagnosed with melanoma in the UK was one in four. The death rate in Australia was more like one in 10.”

With this in mind, de Lisle has penned a rather extensive article aimed at educating the general public about skin cancer and how to avoid it. I recommend you take a moment to read the article if you are heading anywhere sunny in the near future. In the meantime, here are a few highlights:

There is no such thing as a safe tan
Have your moles checked regularly at a place like the Mole Clinic
Mole danger signs: ragged borders, changes in color, shape or size
Use at least SPF 15, but preferably higher
Take advantage of new technology like the Solar Safe Wristband that tells the wearer when too much is too much
Wear clothing with built in SPF