For those of you who don’t know May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month. In this family, we know all too well the risks associated with too much sun. One of the first topics I decided to write about when I started this blog was sunscreens in a blog post of the same name. Applying sunscreen on a daily basis has become a huge part of my life, I am forever applying it to myself, Nash or my eldest son.
Skincancer.org states “With 5.4 million cases in more than 3.3 million people diagnosed annually, skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. Fortunately, skin cancer is also one of the most preventable forms of cancer and highly treatable when detected early”. One of the concerns with having a kid with albinism is their lack of pigment, this is caused by a lack of Melanin in the skin. Melanin is described as the pigment that gives human skin, hair, and eyes their color. Medicinenet.com states “Melanin is produced by cells called melanocytes. It provides some protection against skin damage from the sun, and the melanocytes increase their production of melanin in response to sun exposure.”
In Nash’s case, he naturally has little to no protection and both his skin and eyes are vulnerable to the sun’s damaging rays. Nash is required to visit a dermatologist regularly to have his skin checked, although he is unlikely to develop skin cancer at this young age he is much more likely to develop it than say you or me later in life. Skincancer.org recommends that everyone see their doctor regularly to have their skin checked. They even have a page dedicated to early detection and how to do an exam yourself. I say prevention is better than treatment, so layer on that sunscreen, get on those sunglasses and don’t forget the hat.