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Remembering the importance of sunscreen

READ MORE: Remembering the importance of sunscreen
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Living at the coast, most of us know the joys of being outside in the sunshine. But we don't always remember how important it is to slather on the sunscreen. “My best friend was 23 when she passed away two weeks ago from melanoma, skin cancer. She was 17 when she was first diagnosed, but 23 when she passed away," said Jenn Corson. Jennifer Shoe had a small discolored mole on her chest that rapidly developed into skin cancer. She, like many teens, frequented tanning beds in high school. Surgical Oncologist Dr. Kotwall said, "For young women, in their twenties to 35, unfortunately, it's one of the leading causes of cancer deaths." The problem is not limited to women. "All my life, I spent a lot of time at the beach, and I'd wear sunscreens but I'd wear like 10, sometimes nothing at all, just the oil and try to tan,” said skin cancer survivor Thomas Heffernan. “And the thing was we had to have a tan, it's the summertime, you have to look good when you go to the beach or when you go to the pool. I probably was my own worst enemy." Last year, a mole under Thomas’ arm turned out to be stage four skin cancer. But he was fortunate, after two surgeries and treatment, he was pronounced cancer free. Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the US, striking one million Americans each year. Some people think SPF 4 is enough, but doctors disagree. They say you need to use at least SPF 30, and the key is to reapply every couple of hours. Doctor Kotwall says skin cancer is very treatable if it is caught early on. He says keep an eye on moles that have a dark center, irregular border, or that change over time. If it looks abnormal, get it checked out. "Listen to your spouse, or your girlfriend or boyfriend, and if they see something that's different and they keep nagging you, they're doing it to help you, and then go see somebody," said Kotwall. Some like Thomas are lucky, but as a cancer survivor there is one lesson learned. "Wear some sunscreen. I can say that now, but I didn't do it when I was younger. But I wish I had," Heffernan said. Corson said, "She's no longer with us because of it. It's really important to wear your sunscreen, just plain and simple. Silly as that sounds, as much as you hear it and as often as you hear it, it's so important." Dermatologists say a good sunscreen contains zinc oxide or titanium dioxide as its main ingredient. They also recommend wearing a hat and sunglasses, and staying out of the sun between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m., when the sun's rays are at their strongest.

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Sunscreen

I wear my sunscreen everyday even in the winter. I didn't when I was younger, close to 50 now. But I'm unable to afford doctor visits or health insurance. Yes I do have several sun spots & moles over my body I would love to go but a dermatologist is not in my budget, I only earn $20k/annually-I only live on what I have to & I'm using the computer at work during my break. What is a person like me supposed to do about that. They are not going to test or remove all my spots for free. My hours have been cut at my job & it my be cut again.

melanoma

Unfortunately, death is one of the best cures for immortality. Most young people -- and I can say this because I, too, was once young and foolish -- think they have a long time to correct their mistakes, almost that they are immortal. Yes, we will all die someday, but too many deaths could have been delayed by disarming Untimely Death of some of its arsenal. You see, one of Untimely Death's favorite weapons is "that won't happen to me." But Untimely Death is most vulnerable when our defenses are strong and, ironically, when Untimely Death comes and sits down next to us in the form of melanoma or drunken driving or not wearing a seat belt or drug use by a friend, relative or ourselves. Young people, please grasp what death is, and believe it when Old Farts warn, "That can kill you." We Old Farts know the pain and agony of Untimely Death in our midst. Because we love you, we want your seat next to Untimely Death to remain empty.

THIS IS SO TRUE, I AM ONLY

THIS IS SO TRUE, I AM ONLY 21 BUT CAN RELATE TO UR POINT OF VIEW.....IT IS SO AWESOME THAT U COULD PUT THIS IN WORDS, LOVE IT.......21 IN THE BODY, BUT LIKE 50 IN THE MIND, I FEEL LIKE I GREW UP FAST! (: CRAZY................