The subject of skin cancer may seem better suited to a medical Web site, but given how many of you regular readers work within the yacht industry and are therefore exposed to the sun’s rays essentially every day, I think it’s not only appropriate but essential. And I’m sure the thought “It won’t happen to me” has crossed your mind on more than one occasion; hey, it only happens to “other” people, right? I’d be lying if I denied ever thinking that.
Which is why I was impressed to learn that John Dane III, CEO of Trinity Yachts and a competitor in the upcoming Olympics in China, has become the national spokesperson for the Melanoma Research Foundation (MRF), the largest private national organization devoted to the most serious type of skin cancer. (And before some of you assume the yard sent the news to toot its horn, the word didn’t come from Trinity; I actually stumbled across an MRF press release while searching for an unrelated news item.)
Just how serious is this “most serious” skin cancer? According to the National Cancer Institute, nearly 62,500 new cases of melanoma are expected to be diagnosed in the United States by the end of this year, with more than 8,400 of them anticipated to be deadly. By comparison, less than 1,000 people are expected to die from all other skin cancers combined. And based on rates from 2003 to 2005, one in 55 men and women can expect to be diagnosed with melanoma within their lifetime. If that’s not enough to convince you to liberally apply high-SPF sunscreen when you’re on a yacht or walking the docks at a boat show, I don’t know what will.
The nonprofit MRF is doing its best to educate people as well as help raise funds for research and a cure. For example, it recently approved more than $1 million for grants. Dane says he’s “thrilled to be part of the MRF’s efforts” and practices what he and the organization preach.
With the temperatures warming up and the season heating up in many of the world’s famed megayacht ports this month, let’s all promise to do a better job of taking care of ourselves.