May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month

If you’ve been reading for a while, you know that sun safety and skin cancer awareness are important topics to me. I remind multiple times a year to practice sun safety and to take measures to protect your skin, but I take advantage of may being Melanoma and Skin Cancer Awareness month to ascend my soapbox. It’s a little deranged, really, to name today Melanoma Monday – but so it is.

Month before last, my father had to have yet another area removed. Squamous Cell Carcinoma. That’s at least his second procedure. That’s not even getting into about what my mother has gone through.

I was an idiot and used to tan in tanning beds.

So far, I am lucky. With two parents who have had different forms of skin cancer, it wasn’t my best life choice. Granted, I tanned before we knew, and stopped once we learned – but…


Do not go tanning! Yes, there are nice things that come with doing that – the vitamin D boost, the serotonin boost, the aesthetics. Believe me, I know. But they do not for a moment outweigh the very real risk of skin cancer. The risk of having to have biopsies (unpleasant!) or excisions (scary!) … or worse, a life-changing diagnosis to accompany those things. Any cancer diagnosis is scary – why put yourself at risk through reckless behavior?

Know your skin.

Know your moles.

Monitor them! See a dermatologist if any of them change, insurance be damned.

Take it seriously; don’t be flippant. Use at least SPF 30 sunscreen when you’re outside. Check your expiration labels and DO YOUR RESEARCH to find ones that are worth a damn (looking at you, Honest Co.)

Listen to my Mom:

I cannot stress this enough getting checked is the key to saving your life with this disease. Melanoma is so dangerous because there is no pain or sickness with it when it can be dealt with easily.

When you start feeling unwell, it is often too late. Check out last year’s four-part series on Melanoma and Skin Cancer Awareness.