Skin Cancer Gets Personal

Toast bread differently burned - summer skin care concept, isolatedThe word cancer defies rationality.

No matter how familiar you are with the statistics, when you hear that diagnosis, your heart lurches.

I was no different when diagnosed with skin cancer.

  • I’ve spent over 30 years in the health care industry
  • I know skin cancer is extremely common
  • I knew I caught it in a very early stage

Despite all that, my heart still did its own audible gasp.

Skin Cancer Personal Facts

If you have to have cancer, my diagnosis of basal cell carcinoma is the one to have.

It is the most common form of cancer and one of the most curable.

And all this time I thought I was unique.

While I am a huge advocate of sunscreen, my use of it reminds me of a favorite southernism of my dad’s.

It’s like closing the barn door after the horse has escaped.

We grew up in an era when we not only did NOT use sunscreen, we slathered on baby oil in the hope of attracting the sun.

I followed my usual M.O. of research when faced with a health issue. The infographic below depicts skin cancer facts derived from The American Cancer Society’s site.

I have already had the cancerous lesion removed from my back. I also had a second non-cancerous lesion with atypical cells (atypical, that’s more like it) removed last week.

With a sister and three Fight Like A Girl teammates who are breast cancer survivors, I feel like an impostor in the cancer game. Or at least a very big wimp.

I didn’t even have to go through radiation or chemotherapy.

But, it does make me more anxious than ever to participate in my 10th 3-Day Walk for the Cure.

I wish you all good health. And use that sunscreen – barn door closer or not.


Snagit Infogr


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Notice of Disclaimer –Cathy Miller is not an attorney or health care provider and cannot provide legal or health care advice. The information provided is for your general background only, and is not intended to constitute legal or health care advice as to your specific circumstances. We recommend you review legislation with legal counsel and visit your physician for health care issues.

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  1. says

    No scrape with cancer is wimpy, Cathy.

    My dad had basal cell carcinoma on face and neck. He always hated sunlight, so he could trace it back to his days in the Army – no sunscreen, lots of sunburns from bright tropical sunshine. They froze the patches off and he was fine. It’s probably also why I loathe direct sunlight. (My eyes are kind of photophobic, too, so being in direct light isn’t fun.) My Grandma grew up before suntan lotion, let alone sunscreen. She avoided direct sunlight and when she died at 95 she had smooth skin, no age spots and very few wrinkles.

    I’ve always slathered on so much sunscreen I’ll probably develop a Vitamin D deficiency. A friend, just two years older, always called me a wimp for using sunscreen. Now that she has age spots and lots of wrinkles, she’s suddenly touting its praises. Me? No lines, no age spots.

    Glad you got your spots removed, Cathy. Stay out of the sun unless you’ve got sunblock on!

    • Cathy says

      Thanks, Paula. I’ve always tanned fairly easily and rarely burned, so you never know.

      But with over 25 years living near the ocean may have played into it as well. Guess I should have found someone to slather that sunscreen on my lower back 😉


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