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Pony Tales September 2012

Pony Tales header

By Lulu

I am certain there are some who don’t know me that wonder when reading my column why I always close this with don’t forget your sunscreen. Well in my early 20’s I was a sun worshiper and even though I worked as a surgical nurse for a dermatologist and knew to use sunscreen it was generally baby oil we used when baking ourselves in pursuit of that youthful cocoa glow. In my 40’s I experienced my first bout with Basal Cell Carcinoma and had to undergo the knife, and with the skill of a good plastic surgeon my right cheek was left with a minimum 4 inch scar that most didn’t even notice. Since then, I have used sunscreen religiously because, as we ride our bikes, we are constantly exposed to the sun more than those in a car.

This month at age 58 I had my second bout with the big CA. Fortunately it was a basal cell which of the three skin cancers is the “best” to have, as generally, it only spreads locally while squamous cell and melanoma are more aggressive systemically. This basal cell though was “infiltrative” which means it is larger and deeper than on the outer surface of your skin. Luckily having been a cancer nurse and my stint in a dermatology practice, I knew what it was early; yet within 3 months it went from barely noticeable to a significant cancer and this time it was on my nose, very little tissue to correct the deficit from removal of the cancer. I am using the before and after pictures to drive home the reason for my “Don’t forget your sunscreen!” warning each month and to urge all my readers to visit your dermatologist on a regular basis for an all over check. Melanoma is often in unexpected areas such as between the toes and under nail beds. Our skin is considered our largest organ and it is our best defense against disease. So please find a dermatologist, wear a hat &sunglasses and don’t forget your sunscreen!!!!

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