Tango Diva : Travel Stories for Women, by Women

May 5th, 2008
5 Cost-Effective Ways to protect yourself against skin cancer

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Here’s a few great words of wisdom for a Diva who lost her husband to skin cancer. Lynn is the creator of Soleil Chic UV Umbrellas and you can reach her at http://www.soleilchic.com.

“In the case of skin cancer, you can buy good health, or at least good prevention, and for very little. I’m specifically referring to things you can do on your own.

1. Examine your skin every month. Your whole body. Look for very dark or irregular moles or even specs.

*When I was in my 20’s and shared an apartment with a roommate, she started dating an anesthesiologist. I have no idea how this caught his eye, but he my left hand, palm side up and said, “You better get this looked at”.

When I say, it wasn’t a mole, I mean it wasn’t a mole. It was no more than a fleck. A dot. I thought he was nuts. But he thought it could be a melanoma. I had never heard the term before but there was no mistaking the seriousness of his warning so I made an appointment to see a dermatologist, and had it removed. Afterward, the doctor told not to be concerned about it, and immediately I forgot about it.

Fifteen years later when my husband called from his dermatologist’s office to tell me he had melanoma I knew exactly what it meant because of my long forgotten experience. In my husband’s case, it turned out to be deadly.

2. USE — USE — AND USE – SUNSCREEN

There is some debate going on right now about how effective sunscreen really is, and whether they really block the rays the way they say they do. But each day new and better ones are coming out, so it’s worth getting the best you can afford (read up about what needs to be in there, or ask a dermatologist).

But what’s makes sunscreen effective isn’t only what’s in it. It’s how it’s applied. Most people apply it once a day, if at all. It needs to be reapplied every 2 hours, or more often if you in and out of the water, or sweating, or are, for lengthy period of time, in the sun. If you don’t apply it properly, you’re not using your full chunk of armor.

3. PROTECT YOUR EYES

Use UV Sunglasses. An opthamologist called me from Michigan (in the winter!). That’s when I first learned — not about UV Sunglasses — but about how many people get cancer in and around the eye.

4. GET SUN PROTECTIVE CLOTHING

You won’t always find fabrics that feel good to your skin. But do the research. There are many companies making UV clothing today and eventually you will find something acceptable. And don’t give up. Every day new things come on the market (I know I’ve said this before, but it’s true). You’ll probably find it on the internet.

5. ACCESSORIES TO BLOCK THE SUN

There is an enormous variety of accessories, from UV head scarves, to UV gloves, to UV Hats and UV Umbrellas. And there are many, many more. Some cover part of your arms (for driving). There is enough out there to find protection that is comfortable for you and fits in with your lifestyle.

So go out and buy yourself some good health. It won’t be expensive and it could save your life.”

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