Joshua J. Marine said “challenges are what makes life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.”
You can live a fulfilling life, no matter what comes up next, because you have overcome challenges, be it cancer or not, you have the right frame of mind and you know how to figure out the best action plan.
If not identified at an early stage, melanoma has a high rate of morbidity and mortality. The mainstay of surgical intervention and the newest immunotherapeutic innovations in oncology are improving the fight. Nonetheless, the easiest way to live a life free from malignant melanoma, is to never have it. The next best scenario is to catch it at its infancy. And each and every one of us has the power to make that happen.
Skin cancer mindfulness begins with knowing your risk factors and how to avoid them. The most important example of avoiding a risk factor is protection from ultraviolet (UV) light. The problem with sun prevention is, we live in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties and we love being outside!
For this reason and others, both counties are a hot spot for melanoma, even compared to the rest of California. According to the California Cancer Registry, the average rate of invasive melanoma in San Luis Obispo County is almost twice as high as the rest of the state, and in Santa Barbara County one and a half times as high.
The good news is my colleagues and I are here to help. Over the past 10 years, I have reviewed and diagnosed more than 100,000 skin slides, helping your treating physician give you the truest course towards peace of mind.
In the next 10 years my vision involves launching a skin cancer mindfulness initiative that includes a plan of education, prevention and mindfulness that aims to decrease melanoma statistics in our community while still enjoying the amazing place we live in. Your job is to protect and watch over your own body. I am here to help you find the clarity and certainty to do it.
Please join us for a night of Skin Cancer Mindfulness on Wednesday, May 25 5 p.m. at the Mission Hope Cancer Center, conference room in Santa Maria. Dr. Johanna Moore, Dignity Health’s premier dermatopathologist, and Dr. Ben Wilkinson, radiation oncologist, will offer insights on how to recognize suspicious spots.
With the right awareness and guidance each and every one of us have the power to make a difference and stop cancer before it starts! Space is limited so please call to reserve your spot today (805) 219-HOPE (4673).
HAVE A QUESTION: This weekly column produced by Marian Regional Medical center Cancer Program invites you to submit your questions to “Your Cancer Answers” at the following email address: [email protected]