We are nearing the end of sea turtle nesting season, when these majestic creatures return to our beaches to lay their eggs—an average of up to 100! Unfortunately, the fact of the matter is that only 1 in 1,000 of these hatchlings will survive. Facts can be scary, but are important to know in order to help with protection—especially in the case of melanoma.
Visitors can help protect turtle hatchlings by respecting nest sites, keeping beaches clean, and dimming artificial lights to alleviate confusion with the natural moonlight that guides the turtles back to the ocean. Sometimes people can be more apt to take these precautions for turtles than to protect their own bodies from the harmful rays of Florida’s sun! Consider these facts about why taking steps to prevent this type of cancer is so important:
- Incidents of deadly melanoma are increasing faster than any other cancer
- There are an estimated 8,000 deaths yearly from malignant melanoma
- Overexposure to the sun is a primary cause
- It is the most common cancer in women who are age 25 through 29, the second most in women 30 to 34, and men 30 to 49.
- Although it is seen most often in fair-skinned people, this cancer can occur in all skin types.
- It most often arises in existing moles but can spread to other locations
The good news is that when caught early, the disease can often be stopped. For this reason, knowing the signs is vital: watch for any change in size, shape, and color of moles, as well as a difference in symmetry and a ragged border.
Better yet, protect yourself in the first place! Always use sunscreen, and re-apply regularly; stay out of the sun when it is most intense mid-afternoon; wear a hat and long sleeves; and check yourself for any signs of trouble.
For more information, contact Dr. Lisa J. Learn at our office near Coral Springs, FL by dialing (954) 380-8411. Be careful out there!