4 weeks ago my sister received devastating news. She was diagnosed with an extremely rare and aggressive skin cancer (Nevoid Melanoma). My sister is 29 years old and like myself,and many other young adults, was a believer that high pressure tanning beds are “healthier” than conventional tanning beds. As a result of the nature of her skin cancer, my sister was referred to the top cancer center in the north west (Seattle Cancer Care Alliance). Although the doctors were assured they caught the cancer before it spread, it would not be determined 100% without surgery to remove both the cancer and some of her lymph-nodes. The whole process between receiving the diagnoses to having everything removed and confirming that she is now cancer free was an excruciating long 4 weeks.
My sister was lucky it was caught in time at a routine dermatologist visit.
The doctors shared that had it not been caught this year, the conversations taking place would be a lot different.
I’ve lived in denial about tanning beds, because “I’m young, skin cancer doesn’t happen to young people.” It does. It can happen.
I was careless to use tanning beds and my hopes in sharing this message is that I can influence other young women and men to stay away from tanning beds. It’s not worth it.