(Family Features) Summer is here, which means swimming, picnics and barbecues. These warmer days encourage many people to go outside and enjoy the sunshine. However, many are unaware of the serious consequences that can develop from sun exposure, including advanced skin cancer.
An estimated one in five Americans will develop some form of skin cancer in their lifetime. Most cases can be cured if caught early and treated when the disease is restricted to a small area. However, in some instances the cancer may come back or spread to other parts of the body. When skin cancer becomes advanced, the disease can be debilitating and, in some cases, may even become deadly.
A diagnosis at this advanced stage can be devastating. According to a recent online survey of people affected by advanced skin cancer, *people diagnosed with this disease often feel scared, overwhelmed and isolated.
However, a new online resource called Faces of Skin Cancer provides resources that can help. The program offers people with advanced skin cancer and their caregivers an opportunity to hear from others and share their experiences with those who’ve been affected.
Faces of Skin Cancer aims to make a difference in the lives of those affected by advanced skin cancer by offering a platform for sharing stories.
The website features stories of people affected by advanced skin cancer and their experiences, including ways they have coped with this disease. The website also allows for visitors to share their own stories about advanced skin cancer. For each story submitted, $1 will be donated to advanced skin cancer programs.
To learn more about the lives of those affected by advanced skin cancer, please visit www.facesofskincancer.org and view the Faces of Skin Cancer video. One dollar will be donated to advanced skin cancer programs for each video view.
Remember, it is always important to be mindful of the sun’s harmful rays even when the sun is not out. Skin should be protected by wearing tightly woven clothing and a wide-brimmed hat, applying sunscreen that has a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or higher and seeking shade.
*Survey of 238 respondents was conducted in March 2012 on behalf of Genentech, The Skin Cancer Foundation and Melanoma Research Foundation.
Did You Know?
- More than 65 percent of those with advanced skin cancer did not know what advanced skin cancer was at diagnosis.
- Those polled said the best resources were from their doctor and online.
- More than 75 percent don’t believe or aren’t sure there is enough information available about advanced skin cancer.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images