Pennwell web 325 325

A death sentence or wake-up call?

May 30, 2012
According to Shannon Nanne, RDH, nobody can prepare you for receiving a diagnosis of malignant melanoma and nobody can say anything to make it better. Nanne now speaks on the subject to help save lives and bring awareness to health-care professionals.
By Shannon Nanne, RDH
Under thirty and a diagnosis of malignant melanoma ... my mind went blank and I couldn’t remember what malignant meant! Was it cancer or not cancer? Of course, I learned those words in hygiene school but I could not focus on what I had just heard from the other end of the phone. Nobody can prepare you for those words and nobody can say anything to make it better. In one second, the ordinary day around you stops moving. The air leaves your lungs and breathing becomes the most difficult thing to do next.
I remember it so vividly having a small mole removed that popped up out of nowhere, never imagining the diagnosis. Was I a tanning Goddess? The answer is most definitely YES. I only wish that I knew then what I know now. It still amazes me that tanning salons continue to stay open. That being said, May of 2012, High school teens throughout the country made a "no tanning" pledge before prom.Read more: are the facts on indoor tanning:• Indoor ultraviolet (UV) tanners are 74 percent more likely to develop melanoma than those who have never tanned indoors.(12)• People who use tanning beds are 2.5 times more likely to develop squamous cell carcinoma and 1.5 times more likely to develop basal cell carcinoma.(13)• Ten minutes in a sunbed matches the cancer-causing effects of 10 minutes in the Mediterranean summer sun.(10)• Nearly 30 million people tan indoors in the U.S. every year(4); 2.3 million of them are teens.(11)Early detection, prevention and prompt treatment are the keys to the kingdom. Early detection: If you can spot it, you can stop it! Self exams are a necessity. You can do them yourself or have your partner help you. The only way you know for sure the pathology of a mysterious mole, is from the microscope! As a practicing dental hygienist, my patients weren’t just receiving our usual RDH recall visit checklists; they were receiving a full mole scan from the minute they walked in, to the minute they walked out. Believe it or not, I was so outside the box, that I actually recognized something suspicious on an eyeball while taking radiographs.I had been lecturing since 2000, but in 2009 I decided to begin speaking on something really outside the box, The Mysterious Mole. As hard as it is for me, I know that with every continuing education course I present, I am saving lives and bringing awareness to healthcare professionals. I am opening their minds to look in places they may have never looked before. Not just on patients but on family and friends as well.Here are some general facts about skin cancer:* Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. More than 3.5 million skin cancers in over two million people are diagnosed annually.(1) * One in five Americans will develop skin cancer in the course of a lifetime.(3) * Over the past 31 years, more people have had skin cancer than all other cancers combined.(4)* Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is the most common form of skin cancer; an estimated 2.8 million are diagnosed annually in the U.S.(5)* Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is the second most common form of skin cancer.(6) An estimated 700,000 cases are diagnosed each year in the U.S.(7)* One person dies of melanoma every hour (every 62 minutes).(2)Melanoma accounts for less than five percent of skin cancer cases,(8) but it causes more than 75 percent of skin cancer deaths.(9)Prevention guidelines: Seek the shade; do not burn; avoid tanning and UV tanning booths; cover up with clothing, including a broad-brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses; use a broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher every day; apply 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) of sunscreen to your entire body 30 minutes before going outside; keep newborns out of the sun; examine your skin head-to-toe every month and see your physician every year for a professional skin exam.I see my dermatologist every 6 months for a skin check and I do not leave my house without sunscreen. I take the time to really look at everyone I encounter, and I am not afraid to speak up! I have found these web pages to be quite educating; I hope they can help you learn more.;; www.cancer.orgFeel free to contact me to learn about my course, The Mysterious Mole, or with any questions you may have. Enjoy the shade this summer! [email protected]
Source: NCI Visuals Online. Skin Cancer
1. Rogers, HW, Weinstock, MA, Harris, AR, et al. Incidence estimate of nonmelanoma skin cancer in the United States, 2006. Arch Dermatol 2010; 146(3):283-287.2. American Cancer Society. Cancer Facts & Figures 2010. Accessed January 24, 2011.3. Robinson, JK. Sun exposure, sun protection, and vitamin D. JAMA 2005; 294:1541-43.4. Stern, RS. Prevalence of a history of skin cancer in 2007: results of an incidence-based model. Arch Dermatol 2010; 146(3):279-282.5. Rogers, Howard. "Your new study of nonmelanoma skin cancers." Email to The Skin Cancer Foundation. March 31, 2010.6. Squamous Cell Carcinoma. American Academy of Dermatology. Accessed November 1, 2010.7. Rogers, Howard. "Your new study of nonmelanoma skin cancers." Email to The Skin Cancer Foundation. April 1, 2010.8. American Cancer Society. Melanoma Skin Cancer Overview. Accessed November 1, 2010.9. The Burden of Skin Cancer. National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. Accessed November 1, 2010.10. World Health Organization. Sunbeds. World Health Organization. 2010. Accessed October 25, 2010.11. Demierre MF. Time for the national legislation of indoor tanning to protect minors. Arch Dermatol 2003; 139:520-4.12. Lazovich D, Vogel RI, Berwick M, Weinstock MA, Anderson KE, Warshaw EM. Indoor tanning and risk of melanoma: a case-control study in a highly-exposed population. Cancer Epidem Biomar Prev 2010 June; 19(6):1557-1568.13. Karagas MR, Stannard VA, Mott LA, Slattery MJ, Spencer SK, and Weinstock MA. Use of tanning devices and risk of basal cell and squamous cell skin cancers. J Natl Cancer Inst 2002; 94:224; doi:10.1093/jnci/94.3.224.
Shannon M. Nanne, RDH, received the 2011 Award for Excellence in Public Service from the Oral Cancer Foundation. Shannon is a national and international lecturer, and has published “A Patient’s Guide to Periodontal Disease” to help her colleagues educate patients about periodontal disease.