Advocating and Educating

Awareness can mean different things to different people. When it comes to skin cancer, awareness can refer to a connection with someone who has the condition, an understanding of what the condition is, educating yourself or others on the condition, its warning signs, or its diagnosis, or even having a personal experience with the condition. Even for those living with skin cancer, there are many ways to practice increased awareness.

When considering this topic, we are reminded that we all have something to learn or share that can increase our own or others’ awareness of skin cancer. We recently asked our community what awareness meant to them and how they increase their personal awareness or others’ awareness, and the responses were overwhelming. Some of these centered around education, while others surrounded personal experiences and lifestyle choices. The responses were so varied and unique that we wanted to share some of them with you.

Spreading awareness

For many, awareness means educating others and spreading the word about prevention and detection of skin cancer.

“Awareness = making people aware of the risks associated with sun bathing and tanning beds.”

More from Scott on policy advocacy.

“I do my best to educate folks who don't realize how badly skin cancer can butcher a body, how it can change one's perception of the sun, how even a 'base tan' is a bad idea, and how easy it is for a tiny spot to become a dangerous one.”

More from April on staying strong.

“Educating others and advocating for your own health”

“Letting people know how to stay safe and that it is not ‘just’ skin cancer

Letting people know how to stay safe and that it is not ‘just’ skin cancer.

More from Judy on the challenges and victories of advocating publicly.

“Awareness means educating people on how even casual sun exposure may result in skin cancer, and that skin cancer is ‘real’ cancer.”

“We have to stay vigilant!! We have to keep talking about it & quit letting people say, ‘oh, you just have or had skin cancer? At least it’s not serious.’ It’s so serious & if not caught soon, deadly.”

More from Imogen on the power of online communication.

According to our community, when it comes to skin cancer, awareness means fighting for yourself and others. It means being aware and alert, as well as educating those around you. It means sharing your story in order to provide aid and support. It means much more than what may meet the eye. Let us know what you think awareness is in relation to skin cancer. We’d love to hear your story!

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