Over the years, my Mom and I occasionally talked about her cancer, especially when I started working at The Skin Cancer Foundation. Ocular (meaning “of the eye”) melanoma is very different from cutaneous (“of the skin”) melanoma. It’s also rarer.
An Emmy Award winner, Jerry Penacoli has covered many of Extra’s high-profile and exclusive interviews, such as Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, George Clooney and President Obama. Through all the glitz and glam of the entertainment world, Jerry’s melanoma diagnosis was a shocking reality check.
Growing up in Philadelphia and Queens, New York, I wasn’t really an outdoorsy type of child. I spent a lot of time in the dance studio doing ballet, tap and jazz. I did go to Greece every summer, which is where my family is originally from, and I spent a lot of time in the sun on the beaches there. I have that Mediterranean olive skin, and I tanned well.
A recent encounter during a free screening on our Destination: Healthy Skin RV showed, once again, how imperative it is to check in with your skin regularly. It could very well save you time and money in the future, and may even save your life.
Growing up in the 1960s and 1970s, we had a different relationship with the sun. We didn’t think we looked good or “healthy” unless we had a tan. Ironic, isn’t it? I spent many hours in my teens and 20s laying out in the sun – burn, peel, repeat…until the tan took hold.
Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer but, thankfully, it is also one of the most treatable when it’s detected early. While survival rates are high, most skin cancer patients quickly that you’re not completely out of the woods once a skin cancer has been removed. Not only do your chances of recurrence increase, but preventative measures and changes to your daily routine are unavoidable. Just ask ABC News anchor Michelle Charlesworth.
Even after hearing that women who have ever been indoor tanning are six times more likely to be diagnosed with melanoma in their 20s than those who have never done so, it’s hard to believe skin cancer can happen at such a young age. Most young indoor tanners probably don’t believe it can happen to them.