Baystate Medical Center honors National Melanoma Monday

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – It’s National Melanoma Monday, and as the weather warms up, doctors at Baystate Medical Center want to remind you to protect yourself from damage and disease linked to too much exposure to the sun.

Almost all of us look forward to sunny days. A chance to get outside, take a walk and enjoy the warmer weather. However, Baystate Medical Center Oncologist Doctor John McCann warns too much fun in the sun can turn into a big problem.

“Kids, teenagers, people in their 20’s. That’s the group that really needs to be very careful with exposure to the sun. You don’t want to get to the situation where you are dealing with melanoma that we need to treat,” said McCann.

Doctors at Baystate Medical Center say melanoma is the most common cancer here in the United States. One in five people will get it in their lifetime. It’s also the most deadly form of skin cancer.  For Moriah Moody, who recently lost her aunt to the disease, she says the statistics really hit close to home.

“Knowing how many people have it, it’s very real. There’s a good chance that you could get it yourself,” said Moody, a South Hadley resident.

22News is working for you with tips to stay safe in the sun. One of the most important things you can do is wear sunscreen.

“I have the lobster complex, I don’t tan, I burn,” said Elyse Pommenville of Worthington. “Every time I know I’m going to be outside for a long period of time, I always put the sunscreen on. I got to protect the porcelain skin.”

You can do a lot more than apply sunscreen. You should examine your skin every month, and look for new growths and moles. You should also cover up, using hats and UV blocking sunglasses.

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