Running and soaking up the sun are among my favorite activities. However, like many good things in life, I am learning they should be enjoyed in moderation.
Since I’m training for the Chicago Marathon during the summer and raising money for the American Cancer Society DetermiNation Team I thought I would share some information on skin cancer prevention.
I am passionate about protecting my skin because my uncle mike and step-mom have been diagnosed with melanoma. They are both extremely lucky to have caught it early.
Skin cancer is the most common of all cancer types. More than two million skin cancers are diagnosed each year in the United States.
Studies have shown that marathon runners are at a higher risk for melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. Runners are consistently putting themselves at risk for over-exposure to the sun.
Most runners training for a marathon will be running 25-65 miles a week. The more miles you put in, the more time your skin is exposed to the sun’s ultraviolet rays.
Runners must take greater precautions, above all choosing to train with lower sun exposure, wearing, adequate clothing, and always wearing water-resistant sunscreen.
Sun Protection Tips For Runners:
- Limit amount of time in direct sun light. The sun is generally strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
- Wear water-resistant sunscreen with a sun protection factor of 15 or higher.
- Wear protective clothing. Run in a hat and UV-blocking sunglasses.
- Examine your skin every month for growths or moles.
Finding possible skin cancer does not require any special tests. Make sure to do monthly checks on yourself. If skin cancer does develop, finding it early is the best way to ensure it can be treated effectively.