Wednesday, January 30, 2013

World Cancer Day...Feb 4, 2013 and Melanoma

According to the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), which is the organization behind World Cancer Day, 7.6 MILLION...7,600,000 people worldwide die from cancer each year. That staggering figure takes in all cancers and breaks down to 20,822 people dying from cancer every day.

My particular cancer of choice is melanoma. Approximately 25 people die from that cancer everyday in the USA alone. That may seem like a small number when compared to 20,822, but we're talking about people and not numbers.

January 17, 2013, the American Cancer Society posted revised projections for this year. Here is something I want to share to make sure it gets seen, "Unlike many other common cancers, melanoma occurs in both younger and older people. Rates continue to increase with age and are highest among those in their 80s, but melanoma is not uncommon even among those younger than 30. In fact, it is one of the more common cancers in young adults (especially young women)."

It is still on track for being the deadliest of ALL cancers by 2022...nine short years from now. It will kick lung cancer out of first place. It will be a more common household word than breast cancer. People don't know what it is now until they get it, but we're all slowly learning.

While rates for some cancers are declining, rates for seven, including melanoma are rising.

And people are still going to tanning beds. And still getting out in the sun without sunscreen, hats, protective clothing. People in their golden years, who turned golden in their younger years, are paying for it just like young people today are paying now instead of later.

Melanoma is closing the generation gap.

Chaplain Boss Queen of Hotel Melanoma, that would be me (also known as "BossyPants"), is not a happy camper about it either.

Let me put this simple message in an easy-to-share image

Imagine tumors inside your organs and/or bones. Advanced melanoma spreads as it wants to where it wants to. At that point various chemicals have proven ineffective and so has surgery. These rampant tumors can present themselves on the outside of the body also. That's death by melanoma and it's not pretty. Neither is that tan.

Think about that.

And a big PS, melanoma strikes without rhyme or reason. People who have never tanned in sun or bed are getting melanoma. So are children. So are people who aren't Caucasian. Think it happens to "other people?"

YOU are "other people" to everyone on this planet except yourself.

Think about that, too.

Be proactive.

Be grateful.