Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Skin Cancer

There are many types of cancers however one we hear so little about is "skin cancer"
Skin cancer is the growth of abnormal skin cells mostly caused by ultraviolet radiation from the sun and/or tanning beds.
It triggers mutations or genetic defects that lead to the skin cells multiplying rapidly and forming malignant tumours.

There are three main types of skin cancers;
Basal Cell Carcinoma
Squamous Cell Carcinoma

We can't hide completely from the sun on a hot day, especially if we are on holiday but what we should do is use a strong sun screen and often.

In my own personal opinion I believe tanning beds should be made illegal, not only can they cause skin cancer but they can give you unhealthy skin too.
Places that advertise the use of tanning beds are encouraging bad habits and risks to your health.

Stop killing yourself with your insecurities and love the body you already have!


I had the opportunity of interviewing a Judy Cloud, a woman who was diagnosed with skin cancer.
Here are my questions and her answers.

Judy Cloud


When were you diagnosed with skin cancer?
I was diagnosed with skin cancer in 1995.  I went to see a dermatologist about a small area on my face - it was approximately the size of a pencil eraser, and it would bleed, scab over, then continue the process, never fully healing.  The dermatologist said I had cancer and he was going to do radiation on my face.  Since the area was right under my eye, I told the dermatologist I’d like to get a second opinion.  When I went back to work after the appointment, one of the attorneys I worked with said he’d call his friend, who was a plastic surgeon.  An appointment was scheduled, and I was in to see the plastic surgeon within a week or two.  He told me I had skin cancer, and he scheduled me for surgery. 

What treatment have you received?
I had two additional surgeries between 1995 and 2005, removing several cancerous spots with both those surgeries.  I then switched jobs and had really bad health insurance for years, and then lost my health insurance for a time, so I could not treat with my plastic surgeon during this time even though I had more spots that needed removed.  Once I switched jobs again and got good health coverage I returned to see my plastic surgeon, and he scheduled me for my most-recent surgery, which was in September 2015.  During that surgery, I had 23 places removed, ten by excision (meaning I had ten places on me that had stitches) and 13 by laser.

What is your prognosis for the future?
As far as prognosis for the future, once a person has skin cancer, they are at greater risk for recurrence.  I am keeping a close eye on my skin and am hopeful that I do not have to have another surgery, especially one as invasive as my last surgery was, but my prognosis is currently unknown.

Do you know the cause of your skin cancer?
Both my plastic surgeon and the dermatologist with whom I currently treat have told me that my skin cancer is caused by over-exposure to the sun and tanning bed use when I was younger.  I’m not here to take on the tanning bed industry, but I think people should do their research and make an informed decision on the dangers of tanning.  When I was younger, we didn’t have the benefit of the knowledge about the dangers of tanning and over-exposure to the sun that we have now.

What advice would you give to another person in your situation?
My advice to others would be to not go to tanning beds and be more careful with sun exposure.  People cannot completely avoid the sun, but they can use sunscreen and limit time in the sun.  Having a tan isn’t worth dying for.  Also, people should also keep a close eye on their skin, and have anything that looks out of the ordinary checked by a dermatologist.  People can’t fix the damage they’ve already done to their skin, but they can take good care of their skin from this point forward - their future self will thank them!

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