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Surviving Melanoma

Surviving Melanoma

That sweet smile of Michelle Monaghan’s has charmed many hearts. She is, after all, famous for flicks such as Mission Impossible III and Ghost Protocol. With a calibre like Michelle’s, you would think she truly has nothing to worry about.  But, that is not true at all. There is a battle this American star has been fighting, albeit secretly. And, it is a battle against skin cancer, melanoma.

Be safe, be protected

The “Slip, Slop, Slap” slogan can never be truer. This slogan, made to increase awareness about the importance of sun protection against skin cancer development is a hit in Australia, even in the present days. And like many other Australians, Michelle's husband, Peter White, is well aware about sun protection and melanoma.

“A few years ago I had a mole on the back of my calf and my husband, Peter White, was adamant that I get it checked. In Australia, they’re very aware of skin cancer. I finally went and it was skin cancer,” said Michelle.  The back of the calf, where Monaghan had hers, is one of the areas often overlooked when checking for mole abnormalities. Therefore, it is important to have a yearly mole examination with a dermatologist, especially in "hidden" areas such as the scalp and inside the ears.

“I had quite a chunk taken out of my leg. I’m so grateful he noticed it. He has a keen eye –I wonder what other imperfections he’s noticing!” Michelle jokingly added.

Skin cancer is prevalent in the United States and melanoma is the deadliest form of them all, with more than 76,000 people diagnosed with it. To increase the awareness for skin cancer prevention, the American Cancer Society encourages people to look for shade, wear a hat, a pair of sunglasses and apply sunscreen whenever being out in the sun. Be sure to select sunscreens that are of broad spectrum protection (able to protect against UVA and UVB rays) and those with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or higher.

The battle against skin cancer has left an impression on Michelle. She is now more alert about cancer and regretted her smoking stints. “I smoked for almost 10 years. I really regret that. Thankfully, I came out on the other side. I hope my lungs are repairing themselves now”, Michelle said.

That aside, being a mother of two has encouraged Michelle to aim for a healthy lifestyle. She has even rounded up the whole family to do the same. “For the first time, I thought about my well-being. Now I’m trying to instil healthy eating habits in my daughter, so by default my husband and I are eating healthier,” Michelle noted, adding that hiking is her favourite type of workout.

 

References:

American Cancer Society. Available from www.cancer.org

Everyday Health. Available from www.everydayhealth.com

Mail Online. Available from www.dailymail.co.uk

Medical Daily. Available from www.medicaldaily.com

People. Available from www.people.com

Sun Smart. Available from www.sunsmart.com.au

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