IU Cancer Center Reminds Everyone About Their Skin During Mini Marathon

Armen Hareyan's picture
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Many runners will forget about their skin cancer this Saturday, until it is too late.

Runners ready, take your mark, go! The Mini Marathon is finally here, and everyone is ready. Now is the time to make all of that winter training pay off. The runners are stretched, shoes are laced, and water bottles full, so we're ready to go right? No so fast, what about your skin?

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Often runners are so focused on the task of completing the mini-marathon, they do not realize they have been exposing their skin to the ultraviolet rays of the sun for hours.

"Overexposure to ultraviolet light is the greatest risk factor for skin cancer," said Carrie Davis, MD, Indiana University School of Medicine, Department of Dermatology. "Protection from damaging ultraviolet rays involves application of a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF 15 or higher."

There will be more than one million new cases of skin cancer diagnosed in the United States this year. Basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma are the most common forms of skin cancer, however, if detected and treated early, these cancers have a greater than 95 percent cure rate. Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer, and it can appear suddenly on any part of the body or develop from a mole. "Early detection and treatment is imperative because melanoma can spread to other areas of the body," added Davis. "Melanoma is very serious, as one person dies of melanoma every hour."

In Indiana the month of May means race, but it is also designated as Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month by the American Academy of Dermatology. "We encourage everyone to adopt healthy skin protection habits during the month of May," said Davis.

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