I have always been an outdoors person....shirt off and soaking up the rays. I have always been a sun worshiper and have always had a dark skin tone. I have always been around warmer climates, beaches and sun. I have always not worried about skin cancer because I tan extremely easily and never really burn...maybe once or twice in my lifetime. As time has gone by, I have been noticing some small darker marks on my skin. In my mind, nothing drastic nor anything to get excited about. They are on my legs and arms. Just a few here and there. I poo-pooed it off as age spots.....nothing to concern myself with because they were only about 1/8" in diameter. Yesterday was a cloudy day, so I did not go outside...not even for my usual walk. I spent some time on this computer doing my usual traveling through the internet. I decided to do some research just for the heck of it. I typed in skin cancer photos. What an eye opener that was. While looking through the photos I found one that looked almost identical to a few of those spots that I had mentioned. It is called Basil Cell Carcinoma and based on what I have read, it is the most common forms of skin cancer. Now granted, I am not a doctor but based on comparing the picture to what I saw on my leg, I would put money down on it...BCC. After looking at the picture ( Basil Cell Carcinoma ), information about BCC and how to get rid of it, I went shopping for a dermatologist. I found one that I was comfortable with, at least by reading his credentials and background. I will call tomorrow and make an appointment to have him check my whole body out to determine which spots are or are not BCC. Then form a game plan to get rid of them before they decide they want to grow up and get bigger. After deciding on a dermatologist, I then gathered up all of my tanning lotions and oils and threw them all in the trash. I did a little research on SPFs and sunblocking lotions. I looked up which were considered best according to Consumer Reports...my go to guide when buying stuff. I found a couple of brands that were considered excellent and were at the top of the list. Veronica went to Walgreens for me....there is one right near her store. I ended up with 4 or 5 bottles of sunblock which had SPF factors of 50 and then some had 70. The real change for me will be the outdoors aspect of my life. No more running around with my shirt off and anytime I go out for any length of time, I am going to start slathering on the sunblock. I will still work outside and go for my walks but I won't be laying out specifically to catch any rays. I have noticed that as I get older, I have concerned myself more with my health and doing what I can to stay healthy. I stopped smoking around the end of June of last year and have been smoke free ever since...no desire at all to light one up. So as of today, I will be swapping my tanning lotion with high SPF Sunblocking lotion. I might not end up as dark as I currently am but at least I will be healthier. Like I said....Another Day, Another Life Change.
Posted by Rick Rosenshein at 7:37 AM