If I knew then what I know now

When I was a kid, my family and I would drive up to the Florida Panhandle to visit my grandmother in Laguna Beach. The trip was as synonymous with summer as sparklers and bomb pops, and it was always the highlight of our summer. I remember sugar-white sand beaches and long walks down clay roads, not to mention a lot of fun with my cousins, aunts, and uncles.

I also remember the painful, nasty, deep red sunburns that my siblings and I would get. Sunscreen wasn’t exactly a household item at the time, only starting to really catch on in the 1990s. Today, doctors and researchers have a much better idea than they did 40-50 years ago about the damaging effects of the sun’s rays on the skin. 

I’m 59 now and recently was diagnosed with skin cancer. After so many decades of enjoying the outdoors, it didn’t come as too much of a surprise. Thankfully, my dermatologist has me scheduled to undergo Mohs surgery, during which thin layers of cancerous skin are removed and examined until no trace of cancer remains. I’m confident in the doctor and the procedure, and I’m grateful for the research that has led to such a treatment. 

That said, what I’m going through is something we can now protect ourselves against. There are advanced sunscreens designed for a variety of activities and just about every type of skin. Protect your skin now, so you don’t face a similar diagnosis.

Inside this edition, you can learn about skin cancer prevention and detection, and you can learn about the various types of sunscreen in our Pop Quiz. 

Thanks for reading Central Florida Health News, and God bless!  

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