I had a check up with my new Dermatologist yesterday. With light skin, a Scandinavian heritage and a history of skin cancer in my family, it's really important for me to take precautions and get checked by a dermatologist regularly to make sure I don't have any suspect spots. Getting checked is important for everyone, runners and people who spend a lot of time outdoors especially.
According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States with over 2million people diagnosed each year. One out of every 5 Americans will develop either non-melanoma or melanoma skin cancer within their lifetime. And, the number of people being diagnosed is actually increasing at a significant rate. While basal cell carcinoma is not life threatening, it can be quite harmful and both squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma are deadly. The thing about skin cancer that is particularly scary is that we can do a lot to decrease our chances of getting it; using sunscreen correctly whenever we go outside (especially for long runs), staying in the shade, wearing hats and being smart. A lot of fitness wear companies have great apparel on the market now that includes SPF in the fabric since the sun's rays can penetrate through fabric.
Basically, today, I'm just asking you to take care of yourself. It's going to be a lot harder to get out for a run and cross a finish line if you're battling skin cancer. It doesn't take long to get a skin check and yes, it might be a little scary, but it's much, much, better to find out if you have any problem spots as soon as possible.
For a little extra reading, check out these tips from the Skin Cancer Foundation particularly for runners.
Woody and I are good about reminding each other to put on sunblock before we go out. Particularly when we're going out for a day of walking around the city, visiting the farmers market and other areas where we know there will be little shade, we tend to use a bit more. We've found some great brands that work well with lotion on our face that don't feel greasy or sticky, two characteristics of some sunblocks that tend to become excuses for people not to use it. A few minutes putting on sunblock is definitely worth it, if it means we have a few more years to enjoy! While I went to the Dermatologist yesterday, Woody is going in a few weeks.
Tell the truth now, do you wear sunscreen whenever you go out? Do you tend to 'forget' about it in the winter?
workout stats -
3miles walk/jog intervals
foam roller and stretching