Key Statistics on Melanoma

Below are some important statistics from The American Cancer Society:

1. 52,170 men in the U.S. will be diagnosed with melanoma this year. 

2. Melanoma accounts for only about 1% of skin cancers but causes a large majority of skin cancer deaths.

3. The estimates for melanoma in the United States for 2017 are:

About 87,110 new melanomas will be diagnosed (about 52,170 in men and 34,940 in women).

About 9,730 people are expected to die of melanoma (about 6,380 men and 3,350 women).

4. The rates of melanoma have been rising for the last 30 years.

Read more here

Polka Dot Mama Melanoma Foundation Launches Shade Shuttle Bus Tour

Polka Dot Mama Melanoma Foundation, founded in 2015 by Tracy Callahan, has been spreading awareness of melanoma since she was first diagnosed with early stage melanoma at the age of 38.

"Polka dot mama" was nicknamed by Tracy's two young sons for her abundance of moles. In May 2016, she hosted a farm-to-table gala in North Carolina, raising over $40k that was then donated to MRA. 

Tracy is now planning a way to being her advocacy to the next level. She, along with the Tara Miller Melanoma Foundation, is about the launch the Shade Shuttle. The Shade Shuttle is a multi-state bus tour dedicated to raising awareness about melanoma. The school bus (aka the Shade Shuttle) is being converted into a mobile eduction unit, offering free screenings by dermatologist. 

The Shade Shuttle begins its journey in Egg Harbor, New Jersey with its first top in Hoboken, New Jersey on April 10th. It will then make a stop in Richmond, Virginia to then return home to Raleigh, North Carolina. 

For more information on the bus tour and to follow its journey, connect with the Polka Dot Mama Melanoma Foundation on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Credit: Cure Melanoma 

Broad Spectrum Sunscreen & SPF 101

What is Broad Spectrum Sunscreen and why is it important?

Sunscreens labeled as “Broad-Spectrum” pass the FDA’s testing requirements to protect against UVA and UVB rays. It is important to note that although UVB is the primary cause of sunburn, both UVA and UVB can cause skin cancer.

Previous to December 2012, sunscreens were only required to block UVB, which would only protect the top layer of your skin. Broad-Spectrum extends the Sunscreen’s protection to cover a wider range of UV ray lengths to incorporate UVA protection, as UVA penetrates deeper into skin and can lead to premature skin aging. 

As demonstrated in the graphic above, Broad-Spectrum Sunscreen blocks both UVA and UVB rays to provide consumers with more protection against harmful UV rays. 

SPF stands for sun protection factor, a measure of how well sunscreen protects against UVB rays. Manufacturers calculate SPF based on how long it takes to sunburn skin that's been treated with the sunscreen as compared to skin with no sunscreen. 

Rather than looking at a sunscreen's SPF, choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen.

For more information, please visit the FDA’s website.

EVENT: Down & Derby Benefiting The Shade Project

We are excited to take part in The Shade Project's Down & Derby Fundraiser on Saturday, May 7th at Ranch Austin in Austin, Texas. 

May is famous for the Kentucky Derby & it's also Skin Cancer Awareness Month. Dress up in your finest attire and join The Shade Project at Ranch Austin for a fun-filled afternoon of friends, fundraising & fighting back against skin cancer as we cheer on "the most exciting two minutes in sports!"

Order tickets here

NEWS: CBS' Norah O’Donnell Opens Up About Skin Cancer

CBS morning anchor, Norah O'Donnell, recently opened up on being diagnosed with skin cancer. During an overdue dermatologist appointment last year, O'Donnell's doctor identified two spots on her back. The doctor then performed a biospy on O'Donnell. 

Shortly after, O'Donnell found out she had melanoma on her upper back. 

She told PEOPLE Magazine, “I was like, ‘Oh, my god. But [the doctor] said, ‘It’s 100 percent curable. The good news is we caught it early, but as soon as you can I want to see you and we got to take it out with a pretty significant incision. It will be deep and will be stitches.’ So the really good news is that they caught it early and they treat it very aggressively. They make a big cut to make sure there’s nothing else around it and not becoming invasive.”

She stated, "I went back in the beginning of January and had the incision done. It was three layers of stitches — like 20 in all. It was a pretty big cut and the good news is the margins were clear. It’s scary. It’s the first time, medically, that something happens to you that scares you.”

“It was really a wake up call to me. My husband was very concerned. My kids were really worried. My 9-year-old son said to me, ‘Well, is there any chance you can die from this surgery?’ And I was like, ‘No. No. No,’ ” admits O’Donnell. “Not being able to workout for six weeks was one of the hardest things. I was distraught. It also made me realize how much exercise is tied to mental health. I really was down in the dumps over the diagnoses and then not being able to exercise had a big affect on my mood.”

“I grew up in San Antonio, Texas. I ran track, I was a cheerleader and I went to a tanning salon. That was in the days before spray tans. Now, I wear 50 or 70, I use spray tan or self-tanner. But that wasn’t around when I was 20 years old.”

O'Donnell's top piece of advice: “I think getting skin checks isn’t at the top of everybody’s list. We delay our preventive care. Preventative care is so important in catching this stuff early. I have to go back every four months now. I just went back and they took off two more things, including a spot underneath the scar. They both came back totally benign, but I’m under close surveillance.”


5 Simple Ways To Protect Your Skin This Spring

Happy first day of spring! As the warm months arrive (finally), the risk of getting a sunburn increases. In order to protect your skin and avoid that oh-so-dreadful sunburn, it's important to take the necessary precautions.  

Here's five simple steps to get started. 


Remember: The sun is the strongest between 10AM-4PM.


This is a no-brainer, but you'd be surprised to find out not everyone wears SPF on their skin.


Reapply sunscreen approximately every two hours. Do you apply and always forget when it's time to reapply? Then, you'll want to read this. [wink wink] 


A recent study found that 63% of sunscreen users don't protect their lips.


Stock up on UPF clothing, a great wide-brimmed hat and a pair of sunglasses.

...How do you stay sun protected? Share with us below!

Left side of man's face aged by sun damage

Nearly 53 percent of skin cancers in the US occur on the left, or drivers', side of the body, according to a study in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

Back in 2012, the New England Journal of Medicine published an image showcasing what sun damage can really do to a person's skin. The image is shown below.

 Credit: New England Journal of Medicine

Credit: New England Journal of Medicine

The unidentified 69-year-old trucker has been driving on the road for nearly 28 years and been exposed to a lot of sun exposure. You can see this clearly from the difference between the two sides, the left side being the side most exposed to the sun while sitting in the driver's seat.

This photo is just another example on why it's imperative to protect your skin, even while driving. As we approach a new year, pledge to wear protective clothing, a hat, sunscreen and your UV Wristbands and Stickers.

5 Things You Need To Know this Morning