Did you know that an estimated 20% of Americans will develop skin cancer within their lifetime? After battling basal cell carcinoma twice herself, one dermatologist in New York is tightening her boot laces so she can shout about it from the mountaintops. Dr. Ellen Marmur started the Skin Cancer, Take a Hike!™ program in 2014, in partnership with the American Academy of Dermatology’s (AAD) SPOT Skin Cancer™ campaign. She had two goals in mind: to climb Mount Kilimanjaro and to help Americans prevent skin cancer. And we at Derick Dermatology are all about that life! Keep reading for more about Dr. Marmur’s hikes and tips on preventing skin cancer in your family.
Making Moves That Matter
Since that inaugural climb in 2014, Skin Cancer, Take a Hike!™ has held up to six fundraising hikes a year, covering ground in Alaska, Patagonia, New York, Iceland, and Chile, among others. Proceeds from these organized hikes help AAD and SPOT Skin Cancer™ provide communities across the U.S. with skin cancer prevention services and supplies, such as:
- Sunscreen dispensers for large, outdoor recreation areas
- Permanent shade structures for schools and non-profit organization facilities
- Free skin cancer screenings
- Public education on the importance of skin cancer prevention and detection
If skin cancer has affected your life, (spoiler: 1 in 5? It probably has!), and you have a passion for the outdoors, joining a hike might be the perfect way for you to put your experiences to good use! All hikers registered for organized Skin Cancer, Take a Hike!™ events commit to a fundraising goal to participate. And if there aren’t any hikes that you’re able to join, you can organize a community hike to raise funds for the cause. So gather your crew, grab your sunscreen, and take a hike! Any funds your community hike raises will also go toward AAD’s SPOT Skin Cancer™ initiative.
Sun Protection — The Perfect Hiking Buddy
“Never hike alone!” The buddy system is one of the best ways to protect yourself when you plan to hit the trails. Sun protection is on that list, too, regardless of season or location. Make simple, layered sun protection strategies part of your routine whenever you’re headed outdoors for the day — whether it’s hiking, hitting the beach or just mowing the lawn. Why? It’s your first defense against skin cancer. Understanding the danger that regular, prolonged exposure to the sun poses (even when you don’t feel hot), and taking a few simple steps to protect yourself can make a world of difference.
Before you or your loved ones head outside, even in the winter, make sure you’re covered:
- Wear full coverage clothing — long sleeves, pants, wide-brimmed hats, and don’t forget about your feet during sandal season!
- Work and play in the shade whenever possible.
- Wear sunscreen, even if you don’t think you need it — try a daily moisturizer that provides SPF protection.
- Wear sunglasses! UV exposure to your eyes can increase your risk of certain rare and high-risk ocular cancers.
If you have questions about your susceptibility to skin cancer and what you can do to protect yourself and your loved ones, call our caring Derick Dermatology professionals in Arlington Heights, Barrington, Bartlett, Buffalo Grove, Crystal Lake, Elgin, Libertyville, Lindenhurst, McHenry, Park Ridge, Naperville, and soon in Oak Brook.