As most of our spa partners know, SpaFinder’s Melanoma Initiative has been our main philanthropic cause for the past few years. After our spa industry colleague and friend Alex Szekely, former president of the Golden Door and Rancho La Puerta, died of melanoma at the age of 44, SpaFinder President Susie Ellis made it SpaFinder’s mission to help educate others about melanoma awareness and prevention.
SpaFinder’s “I Will Reflect” melanoma bracelets continue to grow in popularity. Bracelet sales have reached over 30,000 within the last few years, with proceeds going toward melanoma research. The “I Will Reflect” bracelet has a clear wristband that turns purple when exposed to ultra violet light, reminding the wearer to apply sunscreen or find some shade.
What is Melanoma?
Melanoma is the most serious type of skin cancer. The disease begins in skin cells called melanocytes. These cells make melanin, which gives skin its pigment and also protects deep layers of the skin from the sun’s UV rays. When skin receives too much UV light, melanocytes may begin to grow abnormally and become cancerous melanoma.
How to spot Melanoma?
In many cases, the first sign of melanoma is a change in the size, shape, color, or feel of an existing mole. Melanoma can also appear on the body as a new mole. Most melanomas have a black or blue-black area and may appear abnormal.
For men, melanoma often appears between the shoulders and hips, on the head, and the neck. Women most commonly find melanoma on the lower legs, palms of hands, on the soles of feet, and even under the fingernails or toenails. Although these are the most common places on the body for melanomas to appear, they can appear anywhere on the skin, hence it is important to perform routine self-examinations and get an annual head-to-toe skin check from your dermatologist.
Did you know?
- UV exposure is greatest when the sun is highest in the sky between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. It is also greatest in the summer, at higher altitudes, and nearer the equator.
- Up to 80 percent of the sun’s rays can penetrate light clouds, mist and fog.
- Fresh snow reflects back about 85 percent of the sun’s rays; water reflects back about 5 percent of the sun’s rays; concrete reflects back 10 to 12 percent of the sun’s rays.
- Protecting your skin during the first 18 years of life can reduce the risk of some types of skin cancer by up to 78 percent.
- Studies have confirmed that sun exposure is responsible for the development of at least two-thirds of all melanomas.
SpaFinder urges you to spread the word to your clients, friends, and family about the dangers of melanoma, which accounts for more than 65,000 new cases a year, claiming 11,000 of those diagnosed their lives. It is with early detection that this disease can be stopped.
To find out more about SpaFinder Melanoma Initiative or to purchase SpaFinder’s “I Will Reflect” bracelet, please visit https://www.spafinder.com/melanoma or contact Loreen Guertin at 212-716-1167 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
* Source: melanoma.com, skincancer.org