Skin Cancer

Hello Jan and Rog

I enjoy your reading pages to see the latest developments in naturism. There's a matter I'd like to put up for information and discussion that may be of benefit to your other readers.

In October 2016 I had a squamous cell carcinoma excised from my forehead and in October of 2017, a basal cell carcinoma was taken from my chin. I've been lucky, as the skin cancers were detected early, are not particularly aggressive and have been completely removed. We live in Cornwall, the skin cancer centre of the UK, and I've worked outside for much of my life, though not as a naturist. The skin damage that led to the lesions has probably occurred as part of my textile life, and over a number of years, but as someone with Type 1 skin (red hair, freckles) I'm now concerned that my naturist days are numbered.

My wife and I came to naturism only in our late fifties, but over the last twelve years or more, we've enjoyed many holidays 'à poil' in southern France, where we now have a number of good naturist friends. I've never been careless about sun protection, but since the removal of the SCC, I've stayed in the shade, covered up, slathered on the sun cream, worn a hat and had my wife regularly inspect every bit of skin for any suspicious spots. Nevertheless, the likelihood of more cancerous lesions occurring over the next few years, even without more sun exposure, is not negligible and the prospect of malignant melanoma is not something I relish.

The point of the preamble is this: I've come love naturism for all the reasons that its ethic prescribes and needn't rehearse them here. I don't want to give it up and probably won't, but I'd like to draw your readers' attention to my experience and the lessons it offers. Sun exposure is dangerous; sunbathing for hours on end, even with Factor 50 cream, results in DNA damage that can lead to cancer. If you have Type 1 skin, you're at particular risk. So take care; a deep tan is a high price to pay for the malignant melanoma that has a high probability of killing you. Above all, take ANY suspicious lesion to your GP: it may save your life.

Geoff

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