View Full Version : A Timely Message...

05-24-2007, 03:50 PM
Hey Skiers, Footers, and Water Lovers Alike...

I just found out that one of my best friends has been diagnosed with malignant melanoma. He's only 41, has always been careful about burning, and has a wife and 2 kids. This was a complete suprise to us all, and has left a hole in my heart.

As a cancer nurse, I felt that I had to post this thread to remind all of us to remember our skin in the sun. You may have read the recommendations below, but please read them again, and ACT ON THEM.

1. What is SPF?? Sun protection factor refers to how long you can stay in the sun and be protected before you burn. I have very fair skin and tend to burn within 15 minutes, so if I use an SPF of 10, that means that I can stay in the sun for 150 minutes (15 times 10) before I burn. The higher the SPF, the better the protection.

2. To apply sunscreen appropriately, you need an amount that would fill a shot glass, so if used correctly, you'll be buying lots of sunscreen over the summer. Sunscreen must be applied about 30 minutes before going into the sun. Most of us apply it after we get into the sun...the wrong thing to do! And then we wonder why we got burned! The sunscreen must be absorbed into your skin in order to be effective, hence the 30 minutes.

3. Sunscreen must be re-applied every 2 hours...even if it's the waterproof kind. And reapply it religiously after you take your wet/dry suits off...the suits can cause it to rub off.

4. Remember the tops of your ears, neck and scalp (where cancer often begins). Your lips can burn also...so use a lip balm with sunscreen in it.

5. Which SPF is right for you? As water lovers, we should all begin at nothing less than SPF 30. The sun's rays reflect off the water, putting us at greater risk for a bad burn. 50 (they are even making 60 now) are the best ones to use. Yes, they are goopy and oily, but it's much better than having a catheter placed into your chest to receive chemotherapy through.

6. Children need special protection. Their skin is delicate and must be protected!!! Apply religiously!!!

7. If you notice anything unusual, or have a mole that is irritated, please make an appointment to have it checked out. There are several types of skin cancers...most of them easily treatable. Melanoma is the worst one...it can metastasize throughout the body if left untreated. So don't waste time!

I remember in highschool, the cool thing to do was use coco-butter and baby oil and fry ourselves like an egg on a pan. My friend's diagnosis was a definite wake-up call. If you must get a tan, please do it the safe way (NO...NOT in a tanning salon!!!). Many lotion companies now sell lotions that build up a gradual tan the safe way, and actually look really natural.

I hope that this information was helpful. Please have a great, safe (and sun-protected) summer!


Upper Michigan Prostar190
05-24-2007, 03:57 PM
Wow, bummer. Very sorry to hear that. I knew a guy that died from that about 10 years ago in my town. he was young too, in his late 30s. very sad, he had a wife and kids too. :(

east tx skier
05-24-2007, 03:58 PM
Thanks for this. I'm sorry to hear about your friend. We have always lathered the sunscreen on religiously. A family member of ours is having the rest of a cancerous mole (basal cell carcinoma) removed next month. So this sort of thing is even more on our minds than it is ordinarily.

05-24-2007, 04:47 PM
Rapunzl, first of all you your friend and his family will be in my prayers. Secondly thank you for taking the time to pass on the sun tips. You may very well save a life by having done this.
We just got home from my wifes chemo treatment today.(last one in this cycle.) It is colon cancer but metastatic melanoma It is a reoccurence from a melanoma on her arm from 18 years ago! As a teenager she too was a sun worshiper who used mineral oil and iodine etc. It will be awhile before we know the outcome but prayer will take care of that! Your warning may very well save others from the devastation of skin cancer. Thanks again for sharing.

TX.X-30 fan
05-24-2007, 05:13 PM
[QUOTE=Rapunzl]Hey Skiers, Footers, and Water Lovers Alike...

So what are wakeboarders:mad: some form of sub-human water creatures. 8p

Seriously, I had skin cancer removed fron my upper lip when I was 28. I lived on the golf course from age 8 to ........ I was told it will surface many years after the heavy exsposure. 31/2 hrs in surgery with my left nostril peeled back is not all that fun.

Sorry to hear about your friend, but thank you for the reminder very good stuff Repunzl. :)

ProTour X9
05-24-2007, 05:21 PM
My mom has had malignant melanoma twice, i think stage 4, she has survived. I do hope your friend will be alright also. I'd also like to stress the importance of sunscreen.

05-24-2007, 07:48 PM
I had my 6th spot in 4 months removed yesterday and my doctor has not found any more. Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen!

05-24-2007, 11:04 PM
I go for a screening every year - have had 6 moles removed so far (as a precaution - they were not cancer). Cheap insurance if you ask me...

05-24-2007, 11:13 PM
Thanks for the tips. We lather up our kids with 30+ all the time but don't do the same for ourselves sometimes. I'm pretty good about it because I tend to burn, but I need to get the wife on board a little more. We should all be a little more vigilant about this though.

05-25-2007, 04:18 AM
firstly,sorry to hear your news......

great post......as kids we were fried in lemon oil(factor 2) i seem to recall....my kids never get onto the lake unless they have 50+ on.....neither do i......gotta keep these good looks.....

05-25-2007, 05:58 AM
The new children's spf 50 in the aerosol can has been one of the greatest advances ever. Just hold 'em down and dose thoroughly.

05-25-2007, 10:06 AM
Thanks for the reminder on skin cancer Rapunzl and the tips to stay safe, sorry to hear about your friend too.:(

When my husband was younger (like most of us) he did not use sunscreen, because of that he has problems now. He had a spot dug out of his leg last year that was cancer and has spots burned off every 6 months at the dermotologists...he is now in the middle of a chemical peel for his face too.

As the mother of 2 (one a very fair-skinned redheaded daughter) I worry about the effects of our hobby on our childrens' skin. We use nothing less than spf 50 when on the water. We also wear rash guards on the water too...they keep out 99% of all UV rays. And we try to hit the water after 4pm instead of mornings/daytime because the UV rays are less then too. Small things when you stop and think about it, but every little bit helps.


05-25-2007, 10:10 AM
So sorry to hear about your friend, hope everyting come out OK!!! So many are paying at a later age for our ignorance when we were young. But Thankyou for this post it will help alot of us down the road!!! I copied your list and sent it out to my emailers. Great Idea, Thanks!!!

ProTour X9
05-27-2007, 03:25 PM
In case anyones interested....... (http://johnwayne.com/pdf/PressReleaseChoc051807.pdf)

05-29-2007, 12:48 PM
I just wanted to thank all of you for your comments! I thought I'd post those guidelines because we really do need to think about it whenever we're out in the sun. As a nurse, I'm just doin' my job...trying to prevent rather than treat.

I am amazed at how many lives have been affected by skin cancer. Those of you who have shared about your experiences will be in my prayers. Cancer, no matter what kind, is scary. When I heard about my friend, I instantly thought about lying out by the pool as a teenager, slathered with baby oil and checking every so often to see if I'm "done"! I will tell you that I made an appointment with a dermatologist...and am almost scared to go! But...it must be done. It's something I encourage everyone to do. Don't worry about "taking up the doctor's time" with seemingly innocent moles. It's your health...take command of it.

And if we religiously protect our kids...we'll never see skin cancer in their generation.

One last thing...I wanted to mention that even if you are of an ethnic descent that has naturally dark skin, you must still protect it. The sun's rays are not particular about which type of skin they penetrate.

Thanks again,