Wednesday, August 4, 2010

It Only Takes a Few Minutes

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 -
14.5miles bike
3miles walk/jog intervals
foam roller and stretching


Katie @ Health for the Whole Self said...

This is a great post. I used to be horrible with sunscreen until my mom got skin cancer. Fortunately she had a mild case and everything is fine now, but it was definitely a wake-up call. I'm extremely careful about my sun exposure now, and I actually do wear sunscreen every day!

Jocelyn said...

My mom has skin cancer and my dad had it last year. Ever since then I am extremely paranoid. If I go to the beach I put on sunscreen ever 30 minutes. People laugh at me and tell me I will never get color, but I couldn't care less. I'd rather be white then have skin cancer!

gene said...

i rarely, if ever, use sunscreen. i slather the kiddos, but not myself. i sweat like a madman, and have not found any that will stick without getting in my eyes, mouth, palms of my hands.

Adam said...

I'll be honest, I'm blond hair, blue eyed and I totally forget all the time. Bleh.

Barbara said...

Try Bull Frog. Only thing my husband gets to stick mountain biking and sailing.

Robyn @ Wannabe Writer Runner said...

I need to be better about sunscreen. It's more be being lazy than anything. I did go to the derm a month or two ago though.

Amanda - RunToTheFinish said...

yup I just had a mole removed and it's taken me a long time to realize just how much I need to wear sunscreen!

Maureen said...

I always forget in the winter! I'm a pretty fair skinned person so I try to put a lot of sunscreen on. It's hard because I do enjoy a little tan but with spray on tans now that's definitely the better route!