Melanoma is the deadliest of all skin cancers, perhaps more so for people of darker skinned races simply because the disease is harder to detect. The disease starts from mutated cells in your skin, generally collectively within a large mole. The disease can be very frightening for anyone who is infected, however with certain preventative measures you should never have to worry about developing the disease yourself.
There are three basic things to remember so that you do not put yourself at risk for melanoma: keep yourself out of the sun, examine your skin closely every month for outbreaks, and go in for a specialist check up every year. Essentially, if you do all these things you should be safe when it comes to skin cancer. It is important, however, that you do perform regular skin checks to be certain that all is well with the health of your skin.
Staying out of the sun is the most important thing you can do when trying to keep yourself safe from skin cancer and melanoma. UV rays from the sun damage your skin cells and can seriously increase your risk of developing cancer later in life. In fact, if you have had more than five sunburns in your life so far, your chances of developing skin cancer are doubled. It is greatly important that you not take the risk involved with suntanning! Sun beds are no better for you, either, so do not be fooled into thinking that you can achieve a nice suntan that way and still keep safe from the risks of cancer.
If you are really concerned about getting that bronze tan, perhaps you should strongly consider bronzing lotions or spray on fake tans. These may not sound particularly romantic, but they are necessary if you want to preserve the health of your skin and prolong your life, you need to stop sunbathing! Unfortunately, there is a strong part of our culture (and an ever growing one, at that) that states we all need a tan to look healthy. Where this came from is debatable, but the fact remains that this look, fashionable or not, can come at a very high price. If you do not want to risk contracting melanoma or another form of skin cancer, then by no means succumb to the pressure of the tan and cover your skin up! Long-sleeved clothing and sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher is the best defence if you do need to be outside.
Simply put, you do not want to contract melanoma. The disease has a decent survival rate, but that is not the point. Once you have developed melanoma once, the chances of the disease recurring are greatly increased. It is certainly best to steer well clear of the disease to begin with, and doing so is relatively simple. Even if you do stay out of the sun for the most part, it is important that you also give yourself a full monthly skin check to make sure that everything is all right. Ask your doctor or dermatologist how to properly check your skin for the early signs of melanoma so that you know what to look for. Keep in mind that if you have a lot of moles, fair skin and fair hair, that you are statistically more likely to develop the disease.
Use your own common sense, and remember how dangerous fashion can be. With all the tanning alternatives available now, there is no good reason to be out in the sun without some serious protection. Be vigilant, and be safe!