Skin cancer is one of the highest incidences in the world. There have been more than 2 million people in the United States who are proven having this disease in their body each year. Not to mention, it happens even in the United Kingdom and Canada too. For that reason, many organizations have begun to try doing various awareness activities by wearing skin cancer ribbon with the color of black for it.
It has more meaning than promoting awareness alone. It is done to promote treatment and research as well. Let’s learn more about this disease first below.
The Damaged-Cell-on-Skin Disease
After knowing that the patient rate for getting this disease is very high, you must have started to worry about it, right? Well, it is better to feel worry than giving no care about it. It is a life-threatening disease and it is a serious illness caused by uncontrolled and abnormal cells’ growth in which the normal cells are being killed and eventually caused even death to the patient. This disease is of course the type that happens on the natural outer layer of body. It usually happens because the cells there are damaged by UV radiation from the sun.
There are two kinds of skin cancer ribbon itself. First, there is melanoma which appears as colored mark or growth on body’s outer layer. This is known as the most dangerous one of this disease. Second, there is of course the non-melanoma one. This kind itself has two kinds; basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. Although melanoma causes more death than the non-melanoma one, either basal cell carcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma is still the most common one suffered by most people. It is also the type proven to be more common in men than women.
From 1982 to 2010, people who suffered from melanoma increase by 60% in Australia. In 2011, there were 11,570 people who were suffering from this disease. In 2012, 2,036 people died because of both melanoma and non-melanoma. See? It has been quite a deadly disease in a great number. That is why the action of skin cancer awareness ribbon is important to be done and appreciated. Usually, the events hold for it will tell you good pieces of information about this cancer. It can be about how we know the signs, how we prevent it, and how we can treat it.
The Causes and the Preventions
You see, the causes of skin cancer ribbon can be really simple. You might not even consider this before. The first cause is sunburn. Whether it is in hot or cool temperature, there is still possibility for you to get sunburn. It is pretty common cause for most people get it when they are in the beach, pool, etc. The second cause is tanning. Don’t misunderstand about it! Getting than is not a good thing. Instead, it is the sign that your body’s outer layer has been exposed enough under the sun.
Tan is not something that will protect you from UV radiation. Rather, it offers limited protection against sunburn. The third cause would be solarium. Believe it or not, solarium can emit UVA and UVB radiation, thus leading to this disease eventually. You will be reminded of the danger through the causes in various activities of awareness for it. You will be let to know how deadly it can become for you. Maybe, this is why skin cancer ribbon is colored in black. Other than the causes, mostly you will be told how to prevent it in unique way.
Let’s talk about its prevention first before going to the examples of awareness event for this disease, so you can understand what the campaign means. First, you need to protect your body’s outer layer. There are many ways of doing so, including using protective clothing, broad spectrum, hat, shade, and sunglasses.
Second, you need to get up to date about UV Alert which will tell you when the UV radiation is the most intense. Third, you need to apply sunscreen when you are going out in every 2 hours to the parts of body that can’t be covered, like the face, hands, ears, and neck. Apply it again if you happen to wash or wipe off those parts. Fourth, don’t let your babies out too much for it can increase the risk of this disease when they grow up.
The Campaigns for This Disease
Now, you should have understood more about this illness, including its causes and its preventions. So, let’s see how the skin cancer campaigns look like here. Have you ever heard of Slip, Slop, Slap! Health campaign by Cancer Council Australia? Back in 1980, this campaign was one of the most successful ones in Australia. It was in the past, but is quite unique to talk about even now. This campaign was aired on the TV screens showing a seagull that danced as it sang a catchy jingle. That jingle actually shows us the easy ways to prevent us from increasing the risk of this illness on ourselves.
Some of the jingle’s lines are like this “slop on sunscreen, Slip on a shirt and slap on a hat. Slip, Slap, Slop!” and you can stop this cancer type. So, the word “slip” refers to the prevention we are talking about earlier that is by wearing sun-protective clothing. The word “slop” refers to the use of sunscreen when going outside to give layer of protection from sunburn or tan. Then, the word “slap” means that you also need to use hat. Although these might be simple ways, they can at least minimize the risk of cancer on you. It is pretty interesting and unique campaign, don’t you think?
Other than that campaign, mostly the others show the video of patients with this illness who are willing to share their story. There is one who said that she had gone to solarium to get tan. She did it for about 20 times in her early 20s. Because of that and her excessive sun exposure, she finally got this illness on her body. By the time she was 26, she died because of it. It sure is a real campaign. As a result of this campaign, commercial solarium has been banned in many places.
Now, what do you think about it? Are you now convinced enough about the danger of this kind of illnesses? If you want to support any awareness event for it, don’t forget to wear skin cancer ribbon. It has been recognized by the world regardless of the race, color, language, and culture. It is a symbol of the awareness toward this illness. Using this symbol means that you are showing and reminding others to be more cautious about their habit below the sun and of using solarium. Let yourself and others aware by having unique events of awareness for such illness.
Tags: Awareness, Campaign, Causes, Ribbon