Your Healthy Family: Importance of Sunscreen - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

Your Healthy Family: Importance of Sunscreen

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May is melanoma skin cancer awareness and detection month and we're sharing Ken Landau’s story that he was kind enough to share with us.  Most people know Ken as the play by play voice of Colorado College Hockey.  Ken feels lucky that he survived a recent brush with Melanoma and now he feels a duty to share his story to hopefully save others from going through what he did.  He has one specific ask for everyone and it’s something we should do almost everyday at some point.

It all began in late 2015, when Ken was going for an annual physical.  He recalls “My primary care physician saw two things she wanted to have a dermatologist check out, the thing on my shoulder was nothing, the other thing was here underneath my eye turned out to be something"

The diagnosis was Melanoma that rang very close to home for Ken.  "My mom had melanoma and she died of a recurrent melanoma so this really hit home with me, it was a real punch to the stomach."

Ken's melanoma was caught early and was very treatable and easily removed.  The reconstruction of his lower eyelid has been more complicated, requiring several surgeries at UCHealth in Aurora.  Ken has also found it easy to build a new habit into his daily life, and it’s also the one thing he wants everyone to think about doing everyday.  "We have all been told wear sunscreen we can't avoid going outside, so now the first thing I do is put sunscreen on.  I have sunscreen on everyday, sunny, cloudy, partly cloudy it doesn't matter, I put the stuff on every single day."

For many people simply taking the time to apply sunscreen is a reason they don’t.  For Ken there is no excuse when it comes to not wearing sunscreen that is good enough to risk a run in with Melanoma.  When it comes to sunscreen he says "Use it, liberally, I put it on before I walk out the door.  I have at least 2 bottles of the stuff in my car.  You can never be too careful, it's absolutely worth the trouble.”

Ken’s bout with melanoma has left him with a battle scar under his eye and on the side of his face to reconstruct his lower eyelid but he feels fortunate none the less and says he is making the most of it. "I'm lucky that we caught this thing early, they went in and did what they had to do, I look more like a hockey player now, than most of the guys on the C.C. team, so from that standpoint it's not all that bad.  If anything I look tougher, but the important thing is the scars will disappear I'm only 4 months out from surgery so these scars will die down, and they got the cancer and that is the thing that really matters."

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