August 29, 2014
I am a very pale person and haven’t tanned that frequently in my life. However, the few times that I’ve ever had a temporary tan or sunburn have caused permanent problems in my skin that I will be facing for the rest of my life.
I’ve had about twenty moles removed throughout my twenty-four years of living thus far. About fifty percent of them came back as precancerous and would’ve developed into cancer if I waited any longer to have them removed. I went back to my dermatologist last week for my annual check-up and he found eight more moles that needed to be removed. Every time time I see my dermatologist, he finds numerous moles that look abnormal and according to the lab results of each mole I’ve had removed, he ends up being correct.
I decided to change my annual appointments to semi-annual because I need to stay on top of this situation. I also know that I will be needing to get moles removed multiple times in the future. I honestly get scared to go to the dermatologist anymore because it upsets me to find out that I have more potential spots of skin cancer on my body each time, but being diagnosed with cancer would be so much worse and painful. It’s better to be safe than sorry because avoiding the dermatologist could result in the development of skin cancer.
Compared to most people, I’ve barely exposed my skin to the sun throughout my life. If I’m having these problems at such a young age, then most people may be having this issue too. I firmly believe that everyone should get checked yearly. Skin cancer is not “just an outpatient procedure” or “only affects older people”. Each mole I’ve had removed involved surgery and was painful. Getting rid of cancer would’ve been so much worse though, so I count my blessings that I’m proactive about avoiding cancer and only have to deal with the pain of a local surgery on my skin.
Moreover, not all dermatologists are created equally. I was examined by two last year. One said that all of my freckles “look fine”, while the other found 15 moles that needed to be removed and ended up being precancerous. Always get a second opinion!
I may look extremely pale since I’ve stopped exposing myself to the sun, but at least I’m doing everything right to avoid getting cancer. In addition, anyone can get skin cancer. It doesn’t only affect pale people.
Skin cancer is no joke! It starts as a mark on the surface of your skin, but skin is the largest organ in one’s body and cancer cells spread. Therefore, a local spot of skin cancer can easily turn into cancer throughout the body. Please learn from my experience, wear SPF, stop tanning and go get your body checked! A temporary tan that only lasts for a few weeks (if that) is not worth the risk of having consequences to deal with for the rest of your life.
Take steps to reduce your risk for skin cancer today.