Today I drove down to the Huntsman Cancer Institute at the U of U. I have been going for about 5 years every 6 months. And today I was diagnosed as Cancer Free! And no signs of 'new sites' were found. I haven't had another incidence of Melanoma since my first two initial sites in 2005. Why did I get this type of Cancer (the worst type of skin cancer to have) at such young age? Well first (and probably) foremost...I was a sun- worship- er. I loved laying out and had the mind frame of; summer =tan skin. When I spent a year in Hawaii, I again thought; tropical weather = tan skin. How lame was I!? I got MULTIPLE sunburns. Some bad enough I would blister and peel and ache. I also have melanoma in my family. Not an immediate relation but my grandpa (on my dad's side) had it (found in a mole on his back) when he was in his 40's. Additionally, I have all the right body defaults that make me more prone to getting it.
|(not necessarily blonde), but...LIGHT HAIR|
|and LIGHT SKIN WITH FRECKLES |
(An estimated 40% to 50% of fair-skinned people who live to be 65 will develop at least one skin cancer.)
|Here are my two scars from surgery (to remove the Melanoma Moles)-one on my abdomen...|
Obviously I am not sharing this because I am proud of my scars or my past...but to reveal the consequences of sun damage (apart from wrinkly, dry, leathery skin). I have learned my own personal lesson and have a couple friends who have gone thru the same thing as I have. I also know someone that died at a young age (with young children) from Melanoma. Both of my 'sites' were considered 'insitu' meaning the outermost layer (hallelujah). So I have an 80% chance of NOT getting a third mole involvement. Fingers crossed.
|I know this is kind of nasty to look at...but some moles can get this bad...mine did NOT look this obvious and I wouldn't have picked them out myself (until they got to this point). I only went in for an overall check (because my mom made me); and the Dermatologist found a few that looked suspicious - two of those ended up being Melanoma. The smart thing to do...(esp. as spring and summer beckon)...go see a DERMATOLOGIST, (not just a regular doctor) if you have ANY abnormal areas or have a history of 'loving the sun'. A great referring website from WebMD...go here|
Info from my dermatologist himself...Most products contain sunscreens...they prevent sunburn and may protect against both UVA and UVB, but they are short lasting. More effective products also contain sunblocks (zinc oxide, titanium dioxide) which reflect UV rays and are longer lasting. He recommends products that contain either zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. Some examples...Blue Lizard, Vanicream Sensitive Skin SPF 30, Coppertone Water Babies SPF 50 or Sun Protective Swimwear (http://www.sunprecautions.com/).
If anyone has any advice, stories or personal experiences with anything related to this topic. Please share. Kuddos. Be safe and smart this summer!