I am going to warn you from the beginning that this is a bit of a soapbox post. This is for the “tan-aholics” and those who don’t care about the risk of skin cancer as long as they look tan today. Skin cancer is a SERIOUS and potentially terminal disease. I’m going to share the story of a close family friend in hopes that it will change someone’s mind about the importance of a tan.
Our dear friend was just diagnosed with advanced melanoma and told she may have less than a year to live. She is only in her 40s and the mother of a bright, beautiful daughter who just graduated from college. There were no warning signs, no visible indications that something was wrong. She suddenly and very rapidly became ill and ended up in the hospital.
An estimated 114,900 new cases of melanoma were diagnosed in the US in 2010, with nearly 8,700 resulting in death. It’s been shown that about 65 percent of melanoma cases can be attributed to ultraviolet radiation. There is nothing healthy about tanning and nothing attractive about ignoring the risks of cancer.
My message to you is to wear sunscreen every day, and make the time to visit the dermatologist once a year for a check-up. Our schedules are busy, and you may be under the misconception that you only need to do this when you’re “older,” but your age does not matter. In fact, most of the damage is done when you are young. Be proactive in your skin care because there is no Undo button once the damage is done.
Please pray for my amazing friend. She is a strong and remarkable woman, and my heart goes out to her and her daughter during this difficult time.
To a happy, healthy, and productive life!