The Surprising Truth About Skin Cancer in Oregon
About 120 people die every year from Melanoma in Oregon, which is 17% higher than the national average. Melanoma, which accounts for 75% of all skin cancer deaths, is the most deadly kind of skin cancer. Oregon has the 4th highest rate of melanoma in the United States.
This may seem surprising to many. I know I used to think that Oregonians didn’t really have to worry about melanoma since it seems to rain about half the year. Researchers are not completely clear on why skin cancer rates are so high, but it may be due to the fact that people do not protect themselves adequately, especially on overcast days. We may also be more susceptible because we are exposed to the sun more intermittently than warmer climates.
I used to naively think that only older people could get skin cancer, but skin cancers are the most common cancer in young adults, especially women (60%).
If you are planning on being outside for more than 15 minutes, you should wear sunscreen. If you are getting in the water, remember to reapply afterward. Keep in mind, though, that not all sunscreens are created equal. Below are some of my favorites!
I love Sun Bum products because they are free from parabens, they’re 100% vegan, cruelty free, smell great, and blend in fast. They offer mineral-based sunscreens as well as their original line that is recommended for a long day in the sun. Alba Botantical has a great mineral-based sunscreen that I also use. The only downside is that it can be very white and hard to rub in on the skin.
Skin cancer awareness and prevention is a subject I am very passionate about, and has been a driving force behind my interest and involvement in the sunless tanning industry. Even if spray tanning isn't for you, I still want to help educate you on the dangers of UV exposure, whether that is from the sun or a tanning bed (that’s a topic for another time). Below is a video about melanoma awareness that really struck me, and I hope it will resonate with you too!
Although it is still winter right now, it is important to think about sun safety year round. I am not a doctor, therefore I cannot diagnose any skin condition, but if you notice anything new or different on your skin, especially moles, I advise you to see a doctor.
So, next time you are gearing up to go to the mountain or take a hike, remember to wear protective clothing or sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, even if it’s not sunny outside. And don't forget to re-apply!
If you have any favorite sunscreen products you love, leave a comment below!