Cancer. A shadow that lurks behind the most unsuspecting areas of our body, it doesn’t abide by age or gender, ethnicity or status. It doesn’t care if you have kids or that you’re a good person. It’s never a welcomed visitor and usually shows up when you have other plans.
In December 2016, just a few days before Christmas, I was diagnosed with stage I melanoma—the deadliest form of skin cancer (you can read my full story here). I am extremely fortunate to have caught my cancer early through self-screening, but this experience has opened my eyes to the fact that melanoma is far more common and dangerous than most people realize.
I personally know four people, all younger than me (I’m 33), who have had melanoma, and recently connected with someone who sadly lost her husband to this aggressive cancer. He was only 36.
Having someone cavalierly say to me, “Oh, it’s just skin cancer? Well, that’s not that big of deal,” pissed me off. Realizing how prevalent melanoma is within my own circle of friends and community, made me curious. Reading that melanoma is the leading cancer causing death for women ages 25-30 and the second leading cancer causing death for women ages 30-35, made me want to take action.
As stated in this video, I feel compelled to get in front of my fellow millennials and open their eyes to how serious melanoma is and how deadly it can be if not caught early. That’s why each week, during Melanoma Awareness and Prevention Month in May, I’ll be sharing photos, facts and statistics as part of a campaign called #GETNAKED. You can follow along on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter and then check back here for weekly updates of information and resources.
ABOUT THE CAMPAIGN
The #GETNAKED campaign was started by the Melanoma Research Foundation as a way to encourage early detection. According to the non-profit, which is the largest independent organization devoted to this particular skin cancer, melanoma takes the lives of 10,000 Americans every year, but when it’s caught early, survival rates can be more than 90 percent. Since you are more likely than your doctor to notice a funny-looking spot or a change in your skin, making monthly skin checks part of your routine is so important. That’s how I discovered my cancer.
Don’t be afraid to #GETNAKED. It may save your life.
– S A D Y E E V Y N R E I S H