Does Skin Cancer Cause You Embarrassment?
Last updated: April 2023
I recently read a story about a dancer who was embarrassed she had skin cancer. Does skin cancer cause you embarrassment, and if it does, what do you do?
Skin cancer can affect anyone
I’ve been a huge fan of Whitney Carson ever since So You Think You Can Dance. And while I rarely watch Dancing With the Stars, I knew she was one of the recurring dancers there. I was shocked to learn about her melanoma skin cancer diagnosis, and her reaction to it.1
"I think I was embarrassed only by the fact that I was an athlete and I was supposed to be encompassing everything healthy and fit. I was supposed to be doing all the right things to be an athlete, and so it was embarrassing for me to be like, 'Yes, I had, I was sick. I was literally sick.' The producers didn't know. My partner didn't know. I wanted people to think I was perfectly healthy."
For her, this meant the potential loss of a new career move.
Does skin cancer cause you embarrassment?
Honestly, my skin cancer hasn’t caused me much embarrassment, even when I had stitches on my face, or a big scar. But, I kind of get it. If you’re used to being a super-athlete, or someone at the center of attention, why wouldn’t you feel a bit shy about the fact that something is wrong?
Sure. I’m no celebrity, but other celebrities have embraced sharing their skin cancer struggles. One that immediately comes to mind is Hugh Jackman. He often talks about skin cancer care, and what he has done or gone through.2
But I can’t fault Whitney for her struggles. It was a new, dream job, she’s young, and this was a shock to her.
Like Hugh Jackman spreading skin cancer awareness, Whitney Carson has taken to sharing her story and helping others be safer and healthier with the Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes campaign, along with EltaMD Skin Care.
She admitted to using tanning beds and not protecting her skin. Luckily, her mother saw a spot on her foot and encouraged her to get it checked out. It turned out to be melanoma, which had spread to the lymph nodes in her hip.
Even if you’re not famous, it’s important to tell others about skin cancer safety. Fortunately, Whitney’s mom was hypervigilant since their family has a history of melanoma.
Yes, it’s great when celebrities spread the word, but no matter who you are - helping others practice safer skin care is crucial to helping stop the spread of skin cancer.
You be you
Whether you’re a first-time skin cancer survivor, or have had multiple rounds of therapy - you don’t have to feel embarrassed. Skin cancer can happen to anyone. Take the time to tell others your story, and let them know they’re not alone in the fight.
And you never have to feel you’re less-than, just because you have skin cancer.
Do you sunscreen in the fall?