Pale is the New Black

One of my blogging buddies, loisajay (I know many of you are already acquainted with her blog, …on pets and prisoners…) has been fighting skin cancer since the beginning of the year. Or longer. She’s had multiple surgeries, tons of chemo, and a few other treatments I don’t know enough about to describe. It’s been icky.

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If you’ve spent any time in the sun, you need to know about skin cancer. Here’s why: skin cancer can grow inside you without developing too much evidence on your skin. If you’ve had any sort of procedure for skin cancer, even if you didn’t require additional treatment, such as chemotherapy, you are at risk for that cancer spreading anywhere in your body.

I am not a medical expert, so I went to a few well-established medical sites to get some solid information, such as the Mayo Clinic site and the American Cancer Society site. I encourage you to take a look (for both sites I looked up and linked to the information on melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer.)

Here’s a direct quote from the Mayo Clinic site:

The first melanoma signs and symptoms often are:

  • A change in an existing mole
  • The development of a new pigmented or unusual-looking growth on your skin

Melanoma doesn’t always begin as a mole. It can also occur on otherwise normal-appearing skin.

Why is this important? Because women and men my age grew up in an era where worshipping the sun, and getting as tan as possible, ruled. Today, many are paying the price.  It’s high, especially if it’s melanoma. According to the American Cancer Society, melanoma is a less common, but more serious cancer than most skin cancers.

Apparently, the risk is increasing in people under 40 as well, especially women. Tanning isn’t the only culprit, but that does greatly increase your chances of getting skin cancer.

I don’t want to scare you unnecessarily, but I do want you to be aware of this risk. If you spent hours cultivating a tan as a teenager (or any other time in your life), check with your doctor about your risk factor and what you should be doing now to stay ahead of this disease.

I’m thrilled to say Lois had made remarkable progress in her battle against melanoma. I just wish she’d never had to face it in the first place.

Thanks to Lois for her help with this post and for suggesting the title!
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10 Comments on “Pale is the New Black

  1. Thank you for this, Belinda. They make so many clothes with sun protection built in. That, combined with sunscreen, and a hat, and staying out of the sun, is your best protection. We can enjoy the sunshine–just cover up!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Belinda, I love it when people write about/discuss other types of cancers than just the ones society tells us to care about. I’m also glad to hear that your friend, Lois is doing well.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you! Hearing Lois’ story, and knowing how much having a good tan was pushed when I was younger — before a lot of the current knowledge about skin cancer was available, or at least shared — made this one come home to me. I was lucky — I got too bored sitting in the sun after 3 or 4 minutes. But many found it relaxing. My research indicated that while people with fair skin are more susceptible to skin cancer, the darker your skin is, the harder it can be to detect. So hopefully awareness helps people take care of themselves before it reaches a critical point.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I actually am seeing my dermatologist Monday to be checked. I notice a lot of skin changes and am aware of the seriousness of melanoma. Sorry about what Lois has been going through. Thank you for writing this post reminding people about a very important topic. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • I hope all is well for you. From my research, the real danger in melanoma is when it spreads, because it can attack any part of your body. I could be wrong there, but I do know that is at least part of the significant danger.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. A friend of mine has had ski cancer removed from her face twice. I have gone every year for about 10 years to a dermatologist for a skin check. I was a sun worshipper too but I don’t remember ever even having access to a true sunblock.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve started a blog targeting tanning salons and Zoom Tan in particular for their peddling of cancer to young women. zoomtanmelanoma.wordpress.com

    Like

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