I Have Basal Cell Carcinoma

I Have Basal Cell Carcinoma! My hands starting sweating. Carcinoma means cancer, doesn’t it? I sat and thought about that text message from our dermatologist clinic. Isn’t the skin’s basal cell layer is the bottom cell layer? The ones where your hair follicles are? The link below is to a simple picture of the skin structure.

While I am trying to get comfortable in my own mind about what the words basal cell carcinoma mean, pictures help.

This is the most common form of skin cancer, and when caught early the easiest to cure, according to statistics. However, if neglected or delayed, the damage can leave extensive scarring. My mind goes into autoplay and the message keeps repeating itself. While I am not sure just how I feel, except for the kind of scared feeling. I recognize that one for sure.

Basal cell carcinoma is often ignored. Most of of the time our skin will respond to excess sun exposure in stages. If we are out in the direct sun too long and receive a sunburn, you will know immediately. When your skin starts stinging, itching and feeling hot and dry, you are in the first stages of sunburn. While the smaller overexposures from your outings are often unnoticed. Help yourself to become more aware.

This is when it is easier to treat and heal a spot on your skin that has skin cancer developing. Don’t spend too much time in the sun. Be careful. Know when you are getting too much sun.

This kind of basil skin carcinoma pictured in this link will catch your attention.

Often when you heal, there is not a real lasting result from your time in the sun. There may be some splotchy skin where the skin forms small pockets of fluid under the skin. However, this evens out a bit the first times.

In a short while, the first one or two episodes of too much sun disappear and we move on thinking that we are completely over the too much sun thing. Even when we turn a little “tan” we think that is healthy. We continue on and end up repeating the incident in a few weeks, or next year.

Creatures Of Habit

The next time you are exposed to the sun and you turn a bit red, it is not surprising that you don’t get upset about it. The accumulitave damage from years of over exposure to the sun is just part of getting older you think. You don’t mind a few wrinkles. The fun in the sun was worth it.

It is easy to think you won’t ever be old and care if you have a few wrinkles. That is all years away anyhow. So bad habits are hard to break, and new ones slow to be acquired. As a result of this knowledge, I am trying to slowly make changes that I can and will do.

With you young, you see no need to do very much changing or protecting.

At least that is how it used to be. Now even young people have seen enough warnings on TV to be aware. The sun can do serious damage, and without the ozone layer I grew up with, sun damage will be happening with shorter times of exposure. You will see the results quickly as well.

Alert alert 
Your skins ability to protect you from the sun is in trouble. You must be aware. 
No longer can you be careless about your skincare in the direct sunlight.  As the ozone layer is slowly dissipating due to our lack of stewardship over this land, we are getting more sun earlier in our lives than ever before. 

This is part of my defence for the amount of sun I allowed my family to soak up.  Yes, it is flimsy and just an attempt to pass the buck for guilt.  I have no reason for how I taught my family.  Guess that is why sharing the information is so important to me. At this point, I am not an actual tree hugger. However, if the same thing is happening to our world’s plant population as is happening to the Ozone layers, I may be on the road to membership in the “tree hugger” world.

Yes, I want to better understand skin cancer as there will be more in our lives I am sure.  However, helping you become aware of the danger of spending too much time in the sun is important as well.  Figuring out how to help our children learn to have fun in the sun and stay healthy.

What Is Your Plan

Have you devised a plan for you and your family? Do you have an unexpired bottle of sunscreen?  One that has not spent the past summer in the car?  How stable can a product stay when exposed to excess heat for days on end?

Do you have a real grip on the time of day that you should be out enjoying the morning or afternoon?   Do you have shade for yourself and your family if your activity is taking place during the target hours of excess sun? In my part of the world, that is from 10 AM until 4 PM.  Before and after these hours, sunscreen and or sun blocking clothing is needed.  

During this hotter rays time of the day, you will need to pay close attention and have both sunscreen and sun blocking clothing.  If these are not enough to keep your skin from burning, you must get into the shade.  This is an unsafe activity and you should not be out in it. 

Do you know the basics of sun blocking clothing?  What do you need to protect yourself?

You are setting yourself up for lifelong skin cancer issues.  Did you know that you were planning to have Basal Cell Carcinoma in your life!

As long as we think we can have fun in the sun and stay safe we will need to keep our guard up to stay safe.  Hopefully, the text from your dermatology clinic won’t cause you to have that cold chill of wondering about your skin cancer, your Basal Cell Carcinoma. 

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