I've always been very thankful that I made it all the way across the country without serious injury or getting hit by a car. I'm also thankful that I didn't end up with any skin cancer as a result of the extreme daily exposure to the sun. Being on the road 8 to 10 hours per day (often when the temperature was at or near 100 degrees) literally cooked my skin at times. On the third day of the run I hit record-breaking 100-degree temperatures as I entered Portland, Oregon. The heat was relentless that summer and I applied sun block to my skin as frequently as possible. I wore a hat every moment I was on the road and never ran without at least a singlet (tank top).
Melanoma accounts for less than one percent of skin cancer cases, but the vast majority of skin cancer deaths. You may be surprised to learn that on average, a person’s risk for melanoma doubles if he or she has had more than five sunburns. Regular daily use of an SPF 15 or higher sunscreen reduces the risk of developing melanoma by 50 percent.
The hot days of summer are just around the corner. Be sure to protect your skin!