Talking with Your Family About Melanoma
It won’t be an easy discussion. But now that you have been diagnosed with melanoma, your family members need to hear about protection and examining their skin.
- Your diagnosis means that your parents, siblings and children are 2 – 8 times more at risk than the rest of the population.
- It’s estimated that up to a million Americans have a melanoma risk directly related to family history. But at least half of these at-risk family members have never had a skin cancer examination by a dermatologist.
Because of your diagnosis, you can be a powerful messenger within your family. Studies consistently show that family education leads to earlier detection of many cancers – including melanoma.
If there are pre-teens and teenagers in your family, it is critical to emphasize the importance of avoiding UV exposure, including tanning beds, to reduce risk. Though pre-teens and teens are influenced by what their friends do, your teachings will have a positive impact.
Encourage your family members to:
- Get a Full Skin Exam Annually
- Examine Their Skin Once a Month
- Always Stay Safe in the Sun