Friday, January 8, 2010

Its Only Skin Cancer. . . Right?

This is what I heard someone say recently.   I have to admit  it startled me.  And this person had skin cancer.  I couldn't help but wonder why she would say something like that.  And then I wondered how many others felt the same way.  As a breast cancer survivor I am glad there is a ton of awareness out there about that disease but I also feel that other types of cancer do not get enough recognition, not enough awareness.   According to the National Cancer Institute skin cancer is the most common form of cancer with 1,000,000 new cases in 2009 alone.

Jerry Seinfeld even wrote an episode around it.  It was the one where he dates the dermatologist and calls her "Pimple Popper MD" because he doesn't think she is a real doctor. After all she wasn't saving any lives right?  That is what he believes until he meets the man she saved from skin cancer.  Although Seinfeld was poking fun there is nothing funny about it.  

My mom is a 2 time skin cancer survivor and I know many who have had it.   I am just now regretting all of those days I spent as a teen burning myself to a crisp just to see some tan skin.  My girlfriend and I would hop the train and head to the Jersey Shore.  We would spend the day at Seaside Heights hanging out on the beach.  Sunblock was just not an option.  It was so not cool back then.  I would get home at night crying to my mom with blistered skin.  She didn't have much sympathy for me.  I had done it to myself.  Just plain stupid.  

I think that skin cancer gets a bad rap for being seen as "not a real cancer".  I think more people need to take it seriously and be vigilant about taking care of the largest organ they have....the skin.  I know I have to....

Do you think that skin cancer is not taken seriously enough?  Are you vigilant about your skin health?  Have any bad sun burns you regret now?


Caroline said...

The word cancer and the word only never belong in a sentence together.

Cathy Bueti said...

Caroline, I sooo agree with you! I couldn't believe it when I heard it myself!