It won’t be an easy discussion. But now that you have been diagnosed with melanoma, your family members need to hear about protection and examining their skin.
- Your diagnosis means that your parents, siblings and children are 2 – 8 times more at risk than the rest of the population.
- It’s estimated that up to a million Americans have a melanoma risk directly related to family history. But at least half of these at-risk family members have never had a skin cancer examination by a dermatologist.
Because of your diagnosis, you can be a powerful messenger within your family. Studies consistently show that family education leads to earlier detection of many cancers – including melanoma.
If there are pre-teens and teenagers in your family, it is critical to emphasize the importance of avoiding UV exposure, including tanning beds, to reduce risk. Though pre-teens and teens are influenced by what their friends do, your teachings will have a positive impact.
ENCOURAGE YOUR FAMILY MEMBERS TO:
- Get a Full Skin Exam Annually
- Examine Their Skin Once a Month
- Always Stay Safe in the Sun