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Melanoma Monday: Are you protecting your skin?

Agriculturists urged to get their skin checked before spots become a serious issue.

Shelley E. Huguley, Editor

May 7, 2019

Updated: Date updated to reflect 2019 dates for National Melanoma Monday.

May 6, 2019, was National Melanoma Monday. As agriculturists you are concerned about soil and animal health. But what about the health of your skin? Dr. Ashley Sturgeon, a farmer’s wife and assistant professor of dermatology at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Lubbock, Texas, urges farmers and ranchers in this two-part series to protect and detect before skin spots become a serious issue.

"I would plead with farmers to get their skin checked," says Sturgeon. "It's so important — if I catch something early, it's no big deal. If you wait until it becomes noticeable to you that's when it can be a problem. And skin cancer can go from not a big deal to a really big deal and just a matter of months so get your skin checked."

May is also National Melanoma Skin Cancer Prevention Month. Many clinics across the U.S. are offering free skin screenings. Go to the American Academy of Dermatology to find a location nearest you!

"We put sunscreen on every morning when we brush our teeth," says Sturgeon, whose clinic is offering a free skin screening Saturday, May 12 at the Southwest Cancer Center, Lubbock. "If the area is exposed, sunscreen is put on. We use an SPF of 30 or greater. If you're outside during the day you really need to be reapplying and that's where most people get stuck. I can get a lot of my farmers to put on one coat of sunscreen, but getting them to reapply is really a challenge."

Watch Part II of the Melanoma Awareness Series. 

Missed Part I? Melanoma Skin Cancer Prevention Month kicks off, free skin screenings offered.

See, Farmer’s wife/dermatologist urges farmers, ranchers to protect their skin.

Click here to learn more about how to prevent skin cancer.




About the Author(s)

Shelley E. Huguley

Editor, Southwest Farm Press

Shelley Huguley has been involved in agriculture for the last 25 years. She began her career in agricultural communications at the Texas Forest Service West Texas Nursery in Lubbock, where she developed and produced the Windbreak Quarterly, a newspaper about windbreak trees and their benefit to wildlife, production agriculture and livestock operations. While with the Forest Service she also served as an information officer and team leader on fires during the 1998 fire season and later produced the Firebrands newsletter that was distributed quarterly throughout Texas to Volunteer Fire Departments. Her most personal involvement in agriculture also came in 1998, when she married the love of her life and cotton farmer Preston Huguley of Olton, Texas. As a farmwife, she knows first-hand the ups and downs of farming, the endless decisions made each season based on “if” it rains, “if” the drought continues, “if” the market holds. She is the bookkeeper for their family farming operation and cherishes moments on the farm such as taking harvest meals to the field or starting a sprinkler in the summer with the whole family lending a hand. Shelley has also freelanced for agricultural companies such as Olton CO-OP Gin, producing the newsletter Cotton Connections while also designing marketing materials to promote the gin. She has published articles in agricultural publications such as Southwest Farm Press while also volunteering her marketing and writing skills to non-profit organizations such as Refuge Services, an equine-assisted therapy group in Lubbock. She and her husband reside in Olton with their three children Breely, Brennon and HalleeKate.

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