The Truth About Skin Cancer: Part Two

The Truth About Skin Cancer: Part Two

When it comes to understanding skin cancer, the public suffers a big misconception that the diagnosis isn’t a big deal. Many even forget that it’s still a life-threatening cancer. A lot of folks believe that if their dermatologist finds a cancerous growth on their body, that the follow-up is nothing more than a simple in-patient, painless procedure.

Anyone in the SkinCancer.net Facebook group can share that this isn’t the case. Far from it. This past spring, we posed the question, “What do you wish others knew to change the misconception that “It’s just skin cancer”? In part one, we shared your feedback about how skin cancer can metastasize and just how painful skin cancer surgeries can be. Here’s more of what you wished others understood.

The tan was not worth it

“Being tan is not worth the scarring…”

Many of you mentioned the battle wounds skin cancer leaves behind. Scar tissue never looks like normal skin, which is hard to accept, especially when on the face or head. Some doctors advocate that the scarring is good news, proof that the body is capable of healing.

“Being tan is not worth the pain, scarring, anxiety, fear and emotional roller coaster that skin cancer takes you on.”

“I’ve had surgery on top of my head to have a large melanoma tumor removed. Now I have a scar on my head and a large circle where no hair will ever grow. Plus another scar on head from second tumor. I also have scars on both arms and both breasts from squamous cell carcinoma and melanomas.”

Skin cancer is serious

“It can kill …

Several of you posted in the discussion a reminder that skin cancer is cancer, and it can be life-threatening. Most of us, in fact, do know someone who has lost his or her life to skin cancer. These are the wake-up calls for anyone who hasn’t been to a dermatologist in years, or who thinks that they can’t get this disease. As someone in the group commented: “If you have skin, you can get skin cancer.”

“Skin cancer is still cancer!”

“It can kill … it’s still cancer. Many do not take it seriously enough.”

Know the signs and causes of skin cancer

Get educated!”

“To get educated on skin cancer and to know that having skin cancer removed is a serious matter. Learn the three main types of skin cancers. Don’t go in tanning beds. They can cause skin cancer. You have to look after yourself! You can also get melanoma in your eyes, so wear those sunglasses! You can get it anywhere on your body. If a place looks weird on your body go to a doctor schooled in skin cancers and get it checked out. Know the signs!!”

The good news is that the more you know about skin cancer, the better off you are in protecting yourself moving forward. It’s never too late to become more vigilant. Increased protection can include specially treated auto window films, and even laundry protects that washes UV protection into clothing.

A thank you to everyone who opened up about how they are dealing with this disease. We hope that those in the community find strength in knowing they are not alone in fighting skin cancer.

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