May is skin cancer awareness month!
Melanoma first impacted my family when my Big Daddy (mom’s dad) was diagnosed and died 4 months later. Then again when my mom thankfully caught hers early a few years ago. And again when I had ‘active’ moles removed from my back in college.
My mom and I get our moles checked every 6 months by a dermatologist, and when my mom and I reunite after not having seen each other in months, she can practically be found checking my moles even before she gives me a hug.
Melanoma. It’s affected my family, and there’s a good chance it will affect yours in the future.
I’m begging you to stop tanning, especially in the tanning beds. Why, when you have the opportunity to actually prevent yourself from getting cancer, would you proactively seek it out in a tanning bed? This isn’t a disease that will attack you when you’re 75, it’s going to appear as early as your 20s.
I’m aware that most of you have probably stopped reading by now, and have no desire to hear about melanoma. You won’t stop tanning, because ‘it won’t happen to you.’ And if you do get it, ‘there will be a cure by then.’ As a 25 year old who didn’t quite comprehend the danger of skin cancer in her high school and college years, I understand that you’d rather be tan than pasty even if it means endangering yourself. But now that I’m a few years older, a tiny bit wiser, and aware of the fact that being tan is not what makes you beautiful, I’m doing my duty to bring awareness.
If you won’t stop tanning, at least check your moles. Please keep an eye on those suckers… one might be deadly. I now always wear sunscreen in the sun, and I’ve never been to a tanning bed in my life, but here are a few more things I’m committing to in hopes of not furthering the damage I’ve already done. Join me!
- Wearing a one-piece swimsuit. I found this cute, retro swimsuit that will decrease the amount of sun exposure to my torso. Why do I need a tan stomach anyway? Hey mom, will you buy this for me since I’m such a responsible daughter? I can’t afford it!
- Buying sunscreen. If I’m about and about and have forgotten my sunscreen, I sometimes just risk it, because I don’t want to spend the money. I’m committing to wearing sunscreen, even if it costs me $7, because that’s better than a short life.
- Nagging Walker to wear sunscreen, because he hates it.
- Speaking my mind. Not being scared to warn people about the risk they are taking in the sun. Hence, this post.