It's Friday, which means that over at An Island Life it is time for Aloha Friday. In Hawaii, Aloha Friday is the day that they take it easy and look forward to the weekend. So on Fridays we take it easy on posting, too. Therefore, she asks a simple question for you to answer. Nothing that requires a lengthy response. Then everyone else asks a simple question of their own blog for others to answer.
May is National Skin Cancer Awareness Month. Skin Cancer is on the rise and more than 8,000 deaths are attributed directly to melanoma (skin cancer) each year (most of these could have been prevented simply by protecting the skin from UV radiation.)
Several of my family members have recently been diagnosed with basal cell carcinomas. They have had to go in and get biopsied. Thankfully, in each case, early detection proved to be a good thing and both results turned out benign. Now, everyone is very prudent about wearing floppy hats and slathering on the sunscreen-especially on the face (nose)
When I think back when I was a teen and young adult, I shudder at how foolish I was basking in the sun practically marinating myself in a blend of just baby oil or MAYBE Hawaiian Tropical Oil (but never anything with any SPF in it!!) Also, we would lay out with these reflector sheets to attact as much sun as possible. HELLO??? When we moved to California and the first few times I went to the beach, I remember getting some of the worst burns in my life. One time I think I might have received sun poisoning I was so ill. (Also, remember...I have lupus, although undiagnosed at that time--being in the sun is horrible for lupus patients!!) As I got older (ahem, and wiser, I thought..), I started to go to the tanning salon. Living in California, it was important to always have a beautiful tan (and having a full time job meant that I couldn't just laze around at the beach all day--but it was important to at least look like I could! ) The CRAZY things we do!! Anyway, we were "told" that tanning salons were just as safe as the sun--even safer.
Life goes on....priorities change...I don't know when I stopped going to the salon...now I have lupus and I NEVER deliberately "lay out" in the sun. Even just a five minute walk out in the sun causes my fair skin to burn because of the various meds I am on so I have to be very careful to always try to either cover up if I am going to be outside (or carry a parasol/umbrella) or carry sunscreen around with me 24/7.
My question for YOU this week. Have your attitudes about sun exposure changed? Has skin cancer affected you personally?