Back in the day, I was a sun goddess. Brown was cool and fish belly white was not. My teenage summers were a blend of sleeping in, bumming around, swimming, and sunbathing. I’d start at Ten a.m. Dressed in my bikini – hard to fathom but at fifteen I was 5 ft 9 and 125 pounds.
Dressed in my bikini, I’d grease myself with Hawaiian Tropic Dark Tanning Oil, Turn the Radio on LOUD as living out in the country the only potential complainers would be the cows. And I would lay in the sun and bake. Turn every thirty minutes, peel back the bikini bottom for a peek to assure good color, and call it a day before 2 o’clock.
Ah, the life of a 70’s teen.
So now I wait. When’s the Basal Cell coming? Is that mole a Squamous cell? Crap! I think I have Actinic Keratosis. I’m DOOMED, I’ve established the foundation for skin cancer and all I can do is watch and wait.
And use sunscreen.
I can’t do anything to change what I did when I was young and stupid, but now that I know better, I do better. According to The American Cancer Society,
Most skin cancers are probably caused by exposures that happened many years earlier. The pattern of exposure may also be important. For example, frequent sunburns in childhood may increase the risk for basal cell cancer many years or even decades later.
The new bad boy on the block is tanning beds. The tanning salons are everywhere, and the young, middle aged and even seniors are going on a regular basis for the relaxation and the joy of that golden bronze color. Sorry to be a bearer of bad news, but a new study confirms the indoor tan is a golden ticket to skin cancer.
The investigators found that indoor tanning was associated with developing skin cancer at an early age.
In May, the U.S. FDA announced that tanning beds and tanning booths MUST carry a visible warning stating that the devices should not be used by minors under age Eighteen.
So far so good: no skin cancer for me. Now, I stay out of the sun, have at least two dozen bottles of excellent sunscreens scattered about for easy access for me and my family, and I think fish belly white is beautiful and Donny Osmond is still cute.