Monday, May 17, 2010

Melanoma Monday: SPF or Chemo?



Any Questions?

Five Years ago TODAY, I started my first round of Interferon Chemotherapy Infusions. I sat in that recliner for 5 hours a day, 5 days a week for 4 weeks. Then I graduated to giving myself "self-injections" of Interferon 3-days a week for the next 48 weeks.

Yep - that was 52 weeks of Chemotherapy.... ONE YEAR of my life spent doing CHEMO! memory of my 5-year Anniversary of Chemotherapy, let me share with you the following in honor of Melanoma Monday!

Remember Life is Good! Live STRONG!

SLIP, SLAP, SLOP on that Sunscreen!!

(More Info on this can be found HERE)

Proper Use and Application of Sunscreen:

Most people use sunscreen improperly by not applying enough. They apply only 25% to 50% of the recommended amount. Sunscreen should be applied liberally enough to all sun-exposed areas that it forms a film when initially applied. It takes 20-30 minutes for sunscreen to be absorbed by the skin, so it should be applied at least a half an hour before going out in the sun. Sunscreen should also be the last product applied especially on the face since some sunscreens can break down in the presence of water contained in water-based foundations and moisturizers.

Reapplying Sunscreen
Most instructions on sunscreen labels recommend reapplying sunscreen "frequently", but the definition of "frequently" is vague. A common instruction is to reapply sunscreen after 2-4 hours in the sun. However, one study has shown that reapplying sunscreen 20 to 30 minutes after being in the sun is more effective than waiting 2 hours. It is possible that this time period is more effective because most people do not apply enough sunscreen initially, and this second application approximates the actual amount needed. Sunscreen should also be reapplied after swimming, excessive sweating, or toweling.

Daily Sunscreen
Sunscreen should be applied daily. The daily use of a low-SPF sunscreen (15) has been shown to be more effective in preventing skin damage than the intermittent use of a higher SPF sunscreen.

Sunscreen and Insect Repellents
Insect repellents reduce the sunscreen's SPF by up to one-third. When using sunscreen and insect repellent together, a higher SPF should be used and reapplied more often.


IronLinae, PhD said...

Happy 5 year survior anniversary. Way to go, Holly!

trifitmom said...

holy cow..thank you for sharing

Gina said...

Wow...Holly. You are *amazing*! So glad I know you - and had the opportunity know? :) Major congrats on your anniversary!!

Melanie Tait said...

Congratulations Holly! Living in the land of Oz and with a melanoma survivor father, I'm crazy about sunscreen, but this is still a great reminder as sometimes it's easy to be lazy.

I've emailed you at your gmail too. Hope all is well xx

MRF2010 said...

Thanks for sharing this post, and for spreading the word about such an important topic. The Melanoma Research Foundation is reaching out to teens and young adults about tanning and its link to the deadliest type of skin cancer. Most people don’t realize that using tanning beds before age 35 increases your risk of developing melanoma by 75% and occasionally using tanning beds can triple your chances. The research shows that there’s no such thing as a “safe” or “healthy” tan.

We invite all young people to “Take a Stand, Don’t Tan!” with us by signing our online pledge at You can also find really important information about the realities of tanning, read stories from young women who have a history of both tanning and melanoma, and watch our YouTube video about teens facing a big decision as they get ready for the prom. Please help us spread the word so teens and young adults can protect themselves from the potentially life-threatening risk they take with tanning!

Kevin said...

Congratulations. Great blog and a great life story.

My friend died of a rare form of skin cancer that spreads extremely quickly. He died within 8 months of finding out he had cancer. He was only in his early twenties. Men's Health magazine had an article about him and his skin cancer a few months after he died.

My retired neighbor use to work for the Navy in the 50's. He goes to the VA every month to get his new skin cancers removed.

It is great to see a such a wonder story.

Good luck with your training.

Kevin J

My blog is: