Lung cancer. Breast cancer. Prostate cancer. Colorectal cancer. Bladder cancer. Cancers of the blood. All of these are cancers that many people are familiar with. But skin cancer? Skin cancer, unfortunately, is something that too many people don’t think about, until it happens to them or to someone they know. This seems odd, doesn’t it, given that skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States.1 Even more troubling about the lack of skin cancer awareness is that our own actions can go a long way toward preventing skin cancer.
Leading by example
How, then, do we spread awareness about skin cancer to try to help others avoid getting it? The answer may be this: Tell your story. Share your experiences. Talk about your journey with skin cancer. Tell others about the good, the bad, and the ugly in your battles with skin cancer. We can encourage friends and family members to practice sun safety. We can lead by example.
Some of us may be good at communicating. If you are, use that talent to tell others about what you’ve been through, and may still be going through, with skin cancer.
Rallying the troops
Some of us may be especially persuasive. If you are, perhaps your talent would be served best by ‘rallying the troops’ and working toward laws related to tanning beds or sunscreen in schools, or any issue that could help with skin cancer prevention.
Some of us may excel in writing. If you do, write emails or letters to your elected officials about tanning bed regulations. Write blogs about your journey with skin cancer. Share your experiences with skin cancer on social media.
Demonstrating the importance of sun safety
Some of us may feel we don’t really have a talent for communicating with others. If that is you, show others, then, your good sun habits. Be the example.
You may feel like you don’t have a story to tell but believe me, you do. Your story is important. Your story may help save the lives of others. I’ve heard too many people say that they never thought that skin cancer could happen to them, until it did. We know better – it can happen to anyone. And if we can use our experiences, our battles with skin cancer, to spread awareness, we may be able to help others avoid getting skin cancer. Are you with me?