If you’re headed to downtown Grand Rapids this weekend, you’ll want to keep an eye out for the cyclists riding in the MSU Gran Fondo 2016 throughout the streets of West Michigan.
A gran condo, Italian for “Big Ride”, is a mass participation event, a long-distance ride for cyclists of all abilities and age levels. Starting and ending in Grand Rapids’ Center City at The B.O.B., the ride will consist of four distances(12, 25, 40 or 80-mile routes) of fun, non-competitive cycling to benefit MSU’s skin cancer awareness, prevention and research. More than 70,000 people in the U.S. are expected to be diagnosed with skin cancer this year.
Stops along the scenic trail that spans to Lake Michigan include a foodie’s delight with West Michigan’s finest cuisine and Michigan-sourced foods. The Finish Line Festival concludes the night with an outdoor party with brews, food and live music.
(from MSU Gran Fondo release)
About Skin Cancer
More than 70,000 people in the U.S. are expected to be diagnosed with skin cancer this year. It is the most common of all cancer types. Anyone can get skin cancer. It’s more common among people with light skin tone, but skin cancer can affect both men and women.
Is too much sun the only way you can get skin cancer?
Being in the sun can damage your skin. Sunlight causes damange through ultaviolet, UV rays. Two pays of UV, UVA and UVB, can both cause damage to skin. But the sun isn’t the only cause of skin cancer. There are other causes. That’s why skin cancer can be found in place on the body never exposed to the sun.
How can I find skin cancer early?
Talk with your doctor if you see any changes on your skin that do not go away within one month. When skin cancer is found early, it can be treated more easily.
What should I look for?
Check the skin on all surfece of your body, even in your mouth.
- Watch for a new mole or other new growth on your skin
- Check for changes in appearance of an old growth on the skin or scar – especially a burn scar
- Watch for a patch of skin that is a different color and becomes darker or changes color
- Watch for a sore that does not heal – it may bleed or form a crust
- Check your nails for a dark band. If you see changes, like the dark band beginning to spread, show your doctor
Is there a common “look” for skin cancer?
No. There are many different types of skin cancer, such as melanoma and basal cell skin cancer. Each type looks different. Also, skin cancer in dark people looks different than skin cancer in people with fair skin. A change on the skin is the most common sign of skin cancer.
Different ways skin cancer can look include:
- A thick and jagged scar
- A smooth, waxy bump or a firm red lump
- A dark and black bump that seems waxy or shiny
- A dark patch on your palm or bottom of your foot
- A dark band under your nail
How can I protect myself?
Ask your doctor about your risk
Have your doctor check your skin
Stay out of the sun midday, 10a – 4p, wear protective clothing, hats and UV sunglasses, and use a sunscreen that is at least SPF 15 and can filter both UVA and UVB rays
Don’t use tanning beds, booths or sunlamps