As I was wondering around our small little town today, I happened into a local business and to my surprise it ended up being very, very rewarding.
I had the pleasure of meeting two beautiful ladies and educating them on the importance of sun protection and the dangers of melanoma.
Here’s how it started…
As I walked into the business, the young girl behind the counter was super tanned with a very, very red face. She said, “I’m burnt, huh?” I said, “Yes, you are.” She offered up more information without my asking and said that she had recently went to the tanning bed for the first time and got “totally burned up”. She even explained that she had white spots on her back. I didn’t comment or pry until she asked…”Have you ever been to a tanning bed?” That opened up our conversation.
I simply told her Yes, that is why I am now dealing with the long-time struggle of living with melanoma. Her eyes got wide while I was telling her about my diagnosis, my multiple surgeries, and showing her my visible scars. I was going on and on until she stopped me and said, “I’m sorry…what is melanoma?” That stopped me in my tracks. I then started telling her what melanoma was and started giving some statistics and by this time another girl in the business had started listening in on our conversation.
I gave them my website information and told them to take a look and pass this information onto their friends and family. I also told them they could contact me any time if they had questions or wanted more information. I knew I had taken up enough of their time, so I finished up my business in their store. As I was leaving, both of them stopped me and said that they would look on the website tonight when they got home and they thanked me for coming in with this information.
Of course, the pleasure was all mine.
I am shocked that Patsy’s Sun Room would let this first time customer stay in a bed so long that she was “totally burned up”. I am equally concerned that they did not educate this customer on the dangers of skin cancer. It seemed apparent that this young girl had NEVER been to a tanning bed before or was likely a new-comer to tanning in a tanning bed. I shouldn’t have been the first one that told this girl what melanoma was. It is completely negligent to own a tanning bed nowadays without providing the essential education regarding the risks of using a tanning bed as it relates to skin cancer/melanoma. My hope is that this young girl’s current wounds will heal and she will not live the life that so many of my warrior friends and I live.
Shame on you Patsy’s Sun Room!!
Patsy’s Sun Room, 119 N Main St, Simpsonville, SC 29681,(864) 963-9190
Hopefully, the girls I met today will read this post. My final words to you both are…Love The Skin You Are In. I wish I had someone to tell me this kind of stuff when I was your age. If so, I probably wouldn’t be living my life with melanoma. I would love to invite you both to join me in my mission to raise awareness of melanoma. Contact me!!
Here are some quick skin cancer/melanoma FACTS that will open your eyes!
- Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States.
- One person dies of melanoma every hour (every 57 minutes).
- About 76,100 new melanomas will be diagnosed (about 43,890 in men and 32,210 in women).
- About 9,710 people are expected to die of melanoma (about 6,470 men and 3,240 women).
- It is one of the most common cancers in young adults (especially young women).
- Melanoma is the most common form of cancer for young adults 25-29 years old and the second most common form of cancer for young people 15-29 years old.
- Each year there are more new cases of skin cancer than the combined incidence of cancers of the breast, prostate, lung and colon.
- A person’s risk for melanoma doubles if he or she has had more than five sunburns.
- One or more blistering sunburns in childhood or adolescence more than double a person’s chances of developing melanoma later in life.
- Regular daily use of an SPF 15 or higher sunscreen reduces the risk of developing squamous cell carcinoma by 40 percent and the risk of developing melanoma by 50 percent.
- Ultraviolet radiation (UVR) is a proven human carcinogen.
- The International Agency for Research on Cancer, an affiliate of the World Health Organization, includes ultraviolet (UV) tanning devices in its Group 1, a list of the most dangerous cancer-causing substances. Group 1 also includes agents such as plutonium, cigarettes, and solar UV radiation.
- As of September 2, 2014, ultraviolet (UV) tanning devices will be reclassified by the FDA from class I (low to moderate risk) to class II (moderate to high risk) devices.
- Just one indoor tanning session increases users’ chances of developing melanoma by 20 percent, and each additional session during the same year boosts the risk almost another two percent.
- Of melanoma cases among 18-to-29-year-olds who had tanned indoors, 76 percent were attributable to tanning bed use.
- People who first use a tanning bed before age 35 increase their risk for melanoma by 75 percent.29