Clothes and Skin Cancer

A few years back, I wrote about clothes that were great for travel, since they don’t wrinkle.  I still like these nylon clothes, but now I wear them at night.  A few months ago, I was diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma.  Sounds very scary, but after a few minor office procedures, the cancer is completely gone.

There were many shocking things to me.  First of all, the small bump behind my knee was about the size of a skin tag and perfectly round and not dark.  In fact, it was white and red.  I thought it was a bug bite.  However, I decided to have a whole body check from a dermatologist because the thing was solid and didn’t go away.

The second shocking thing about this is that it was located on my leg and I haven’t worn shorts for decades.  However, I was wearing regular clothing.  Since this incident, I have invested in sport clothes with a SPF (Sun Protection Factor) of at least 30.  When I can find the 50 rating, I am elated.

The third shocking thing about this experience is that it laid me up for six weeks!  Because the location was at a point on my skin that gets a lot of pulling and stretching, I was told not to exercise and even walking was verboten!

The forth shocking thing is the size of the incision.  Lets do the math.  The diameter of the bump was .125 inches.  The resulting scar was 3.0 inches.  So, .125 (x) = 3.0, then x = 24.  The width of the scar was 24 times the width of the original bump.  Give that word problem to your teenager.

The final shock was that recent news has reported younger and darker skinned people are getting skin cancer;  and, they were using sun block lotions.  I have never been a fan of these products, but I am starting to use them on exposed areas.  The sun protection factor clothing doesn’t require you to slather on buckets of chemicals every two hours.  Where it is possible to cover up, I cover up.  Where it is not possible, I apply the best chemical I can find.

I believe that life has a purpose.  The things we experience are meant to teach us a lesson.  Furthermore, we must pass our knowledge on.  So, have fun, but stay safe and encourage others to do the same.

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