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From Tanning Beds to Melanoma and now Speaking Out

by Meghan Rothschild
(MA, USA)

I hated my red hair and fair skin when I was a teenage, but I mostly hated the fact that all my friends always came back from summer vacation with a really nice tan. I was never able to get a tan from the sun, so when I was 17 I started using indoor tanning beds.


Big mistake.

After two and a half years of baking myself in a tanning booth I spotted a dark, itchy mole on my stomach. After pointing it out to a doctor she casually suggested I have it removed. And I did.

A week later I went in to have my stitches removed and my worst nightmare came true. I had Stage 2 Melanoma.

The next month would be filled with doctor?s visits, skin exams, radioactive dye injections, and a 3 hour surgery that would result in 4 major scars and over 70 stitches. Drainage tubes were sewn into my incisions (pictured below) and would later be ripped from my body without Novocain.

I would have 8 lymph nodes removed from my body to determine if the cancer had spread. Luckily it hadn?t.

Although I received good news at the end of this process, the experience was traumatic. After falling into a deep depression for a year after my surgery I realized that cancer had happened to me for a reason. And that reason was to share my story.

I have been speaking publicly about my battle with cancer for over 5 years now and I don?t ever plan to stop. My struggle with body image is one that hits home to many young men and women. My mission is to reach those who may consider making bad choices for vanity reasons and inform them of the potential consequences.

Meghan

PS:
Gary, ...the webmaster of this site has placed a link to my website on his "Tanning Beds and Skin Cancer Page".

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Amelanotic Melanoma
Updated July 1, 2015



"MELANOMA : “NO BIG DEAL ” IT'S JUST SKIN CANCER!

Hi! My name is Nick and I’m 56 yrs. old and this is part of my story. Let me tell you, I was like a lot of people out there and I had no idea that skin cancer was anything bad. I had Basal cell back in 2007, but that was no big deal and it was removed and that was the end of that. No one told me that it was a type of skin cancer (I looked it up on my computer). But still no big deal, it would not kill me.
But I did know the word "Melanoma"....." --by Nick

Read more of Nick's Story

Scared to Death!!! - by Shelly

Our Cancer Stories are so similar, mine and Gary's! - by Valerie  



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Bottom Line
The Weather Channel has done well posting this information and photos to help you spot skin cancer, including melanoma.
It can be hard to spot, even for a professional.
The bottom line is to get an expert's opinion about any suspicious mole or lesion on your skin. If necessary, get a second opinion  and/or request a biopsy. it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Don’t put your very life at risk!