Skin Cancer and the Endurance Athlete Community

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May 4, 2015 on 3:34 pm | In Community, Product Information, Random Musings, Sun Protection, Sun Protection | No Comments

This blog brought to you by TriSports friend Barry Baker. With the amount of time we spend outside, under the bright sun, we need to be way more careful that I suspect most of us are (myself included). Follow Barry on Twitter – @BrahmaBarry.

I really enjoy the people and the training we do as endurance athletes in Tucson.  We are blessed to have so much great weather to swim, bike and run!  We are also a very high risk group for developing skin cancer because of our hours of training under the Arizona Sun (editor: Although Barry references Tucson and AZ, we felt this topic applied to endurance athletes everywhere and was relevant to share with everyone).

In the US alone, 5,000,000 people will be diagnosed with skin cancer in 2015.  150,000 of those will be the deadly form of Melanoma.  10,000 will die.  I have been diagnosed and treated for five melanoma cancers and many other non-lethal skin cancers. Each surgery was invasive and sidelined me, but I caught each one before they had metastasized.

Melanoma collage - consult a doctor if a mole changes in size, shape, or color, has irregular edges, is more than one color, is asymmetrical, or itches, oozes, or bleeds.

Most skin cancers are preventable through precaution.  Treatment and excisions are less invasive and more successful the earlier skin cancers are detected.

Arm sleeves, leg sleeves, brimmed hats, and good sunblock are all effective measures.  Getting checked by a dermatologist once per year is mandatory!   We are a weird group in that we get to see a lot of each others’ skin – don’t be afraid to tell a friend to get a suspicious looking mole checked out or offer some extra sunblock if you see someone turning pink.

Have anything suspicious checked out by your doctor.

We earn our fitness and some of us (not me) really create amazing bodies as a result of our hard work.  Finding skin cancers late can result in invasive, disfiguring surgeries that can sideline you and impact function.  In some cases, it can be the fight for your life.  Takeaway – be smart so you don’t lose what you have worked so hard to build!

So, enjoy your training in the sun, but use precaution and get checked!!!

This PSA has been brought to you by Buzzkill Barry Baker – seriously, check out the the U of A Skin Cancer Institute for more information.

Barry being sun safe!

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