Over 400,000 Marathon Runners Each Year Are at High Risk for Melanoma - The Most Dangerous Skin Cancer

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Dr. Sam Speron a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon states many runners visit his office during the summer months as a precautionary visit and he recommends all marathon runners to see a Plastic Surgeon or Dermatologist annually.

As spring looms around the corner, marathon season will soon begin to take full force. 400 marathons are scheduled in 2007 around the country. There will be over 400,000 participants with an additional 500,000 onlookers creating quite a crowd. Amongst all the bottled water, ice cream, and pizza served at these events, there is also an increased risk for everyone present to develop Melanoma, which is the most dangerous skin cancer.

Melanoma originates in the skin cells which are called melanocytes and create melanin. Melanin is what gives skin its color and protects the deeper layers of your skin from UV rays. Essentially if one's skin receives too much UV light (from the sun or tanning booths), the melanocytes begin to grow abnormally fast and become cancerous. The end result is Melanoma.

An Austrian research team studied 210 white male & female marathon runners against 210 white male & female non-marathon runners. Each person was given total body skin exams, was surveyed about their habits, skin cancer family history, sun sensitivity, as well as observed for traits such as eye color, skin type and change in moles. The final study results revealed that runners had more abnormal moles (large, asymmetrical), more lesions suggestive of basal and squamous cell carcinoma and more solar lentigines (age spots or liver spots). All of these indicators are high risk factors for Melanoma.

Dr. Sam Speron a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon states many runners visit his office during the summer months as a precautionary visit and he recommends all marathon runners to see a Plastic Surgeon or Dermatologist annually.

Why would this be true? Obviously runners are exposed to the sun much more than the average person. First, they train only with short shirts and shorts which increases their exposure. They train on average 25-45 hours a week. Only a little more than 50% of marathoners use any form of sunblock. Finally, this high intensity activity depletes the runners' immune system which makes then more vulnerable to sun damage.

"The long term skin damage someone in their 20's, 30's, or 40's can do while running outdoors is not even comprehensible until it is too late," says Dr. Sam Speron, plastic surgery expert and consumer advocate. "More education on this topic is desperately needed as thousands of innocent people are exposed to increase of Melonoma by doing what they enjoy. The sad thing is that most runners do not even take proper precautions such as wearing sunblock. It's just like driving your car down the highway at 80 miles per hour without a seat belt!"

The initial indication of melanoma is usually a change in the size, shape, or color of a mole. However, melanoma can also appear on the body as a new mole. The most common locations are:

In Men:

  •     On the upper body, between the shoulders and hips
  •     On the head and neck

In Women

  •     On the lower legs.

In Dark-Skinned people:

  •     Under the fingernails or toenails
  •     On the palms of the hands
  •     On the soles of the feet

If you are suspicious that you might have Melanoma or have an oddly shaped mole, it is always best to seek professional advice. Many cities and local organizations offer complimentary skin care consultations at certain times of the year, so check with your local calendar. If you want a more immediate interaction you should consult with a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon: Check with the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) for a referral in your area (http://www.PlasticSurgery.org or 888-4-PLASTIC).

For further information or to have a skin consultation with Dr. Speron please call us at: 847 696 9900 or visit http://www.prplastic.com.

Dr. Sam Speron is a Chicago Plastic Surgeon and is widely recognized by the media as a leading expert on plastic surgery. Dr. Speron's educational efforts have received critical acclaim from the media from around the world including television (CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC, Discovery Health Channel, CL TV, This week with Dr. Breen), radio (The Paul Harvey show on WGN radio, The Joe Gentile Show on WJJG, Joe Scheibinger on KFIZ Milwaukee), newspapers (USA Today, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun Times, Crain's Chicago Business, Daily Herald, Washington Post, Washington Times, Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Daily News, New York Newsday, Pittsburg Gazette, Seattle Times, Houston Chronicle, Minneapolis Star Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, Dallas Morning News, Wyoming News, Charlotte Observer, Chain Drug Review, The Conservative Voice), magazines (People, Forbes, The Skin Care Resource, The Complete Woman, Chicago Magazine, Living Life, Oxygen, Satisfaction, Medical Economics, Laser Solutions, NewsGuide, Cosmetic Surgery Times, Woman's Health & Fitness, The Lutheran, Company, Europe), and online news sources ( Plasticsurgery.com, Yahoo News, Google News, MSN News, Natural Skin Care, Skin Care Recovery, Skin Care News, Botox Care Solutions, E Facial Skin Care, Skin Care Blog, Finance Visor, Beauty Riot, Hot Product News, Aloe Talk, Fit After Forty, Habits for Health, Acne Bye, Cosmetics & Skin Care, Health & Herbal Advice, LocateaDoc, HealthNewsDigest, Cosmetic Surgery, Chicago Health and Fitness, Natural Anti-Aging, Sleeping Swan, Tours and Tales).


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