Dr. Dekkinga, Dr. Ang, and the staff of the Skin Revitalizing Center (facebook)

Staff members at the Skin Revitalizing Center and of the Dermatology Offices of Jack A. Dekkinga and Gina C. Ang, M.D. donned some special shirts on Monday, which was Melanoma Awareness Day, in honor of Jillian Hayes, a native of Hudsonville, who died in December at the age of 23 from Melanoma.

These skin care professionals see the toll that the sun and tanning beds take on our skin every day and work hard to spread awareness of Melanoma year round. Melanoma is the most common cancer found in adults between the ages of 25 and 29.

They passed on some interesting statistics that I was completely unaware of (and frankly floored by).

  • Melanoma kills more women under the age of 29 than any other form of cancer and is second only to breast cancer in women up to age 39.
  • Melanoma rates among teens and people in their early 20's is rising at what professionals are calling an epidemic rate.
  • There is no cure for Melanoma. Prevention is the only way to beat the disease.

The National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention recommends that we all Slip! Slop! Slap! ... and Wrap! Which means we should slip on a shirt, slop on some broad spectrum sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher), slap on a wide-brimmed hat, and wrap on some sunglasses before going outdoors.