Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Skin Cancer...You're Not Invincible!

When I look back at pictures of myself as a child two things stand out to me.  I had the tannest little body from being outside all the time, and the whitest hair.  I remember when I would return from my summer time visits with my dad in Texas, my mom would always tell me I looked brown as a berry.  I didn’t think anything of it.  I just tanned easily as a kid, that was all.

As I started to get older this skin that tanned easily was awesome to have because tan is “in“.  I’m not really sure who has decided this but I remember laying in tanning beds for countless hours so that I could have the tan skin that America declares is beautiful.

In college I had a pool at my apartment so I laid out all the time there.  I also still went to the tanning salon because I couldn’t have any lines….I mean lines are just tacky!  I didn’t own a sunscreen over 15 SPF and I usually only rubbed on 4.  Can you really even count that as sun protection?

I haven’t laid in a tanning bed since college……and I wear 100 SPF sunscreen when I remember to now.  But lately a mole on my back has been getting bigger and bigger.  I know that I need to go see a dermatologist because it just isn’t normal looking anymore.  I have already decided that I am going to go after our baby is born.  Honestly, I am scared to go though.  What if all those years during my youth of burning and tanning my skin have caused me to have skin cancer?  Was it worth it?  Was all the time and money that I darkened my skin every summer worth potentially cutting my life short?

It is a proven fact that tanning bed users are almost 75% more likely to develop melanoma than nonusers.              Lately I feel like I have been surrounded by people who are REALLY tan.  All I can think about is which of them will regret tanning later in life?  Because we all think we are invincible but the scary truth is that we aren’t (I sure hope I am!).  People get skin cancer!  Listen to this girls story.  Then if you are a tanning take a minute to think about if it is REALLY worth it….and get your skin checked! 

Skin Cancer Facts Found From Skin Cancer Foundation
(That should make you tremble and think twice)

  • Melanoma is the most common form of cancer for young adults 25-29 years old and the second most common form of cancer for young people 15-29 years old.
  • One person dies of melanoma every hour (every 62 minutes).
  • One in five Americans will develop skin cancer in the course of a lifetime.
  • Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. More than 3.5 million skin cancers in over two million people are diagnosed annually.

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