A lot is said about the effects of just a little damage to skin.
More important, though is the cumulative damage someone might have collected over the decades before sunburn
was thought to be more than just a temporary discomfort and unsightly skin flaking.
A dear uncle of mine was a large-scale cattle rancher for over forty years.
Skin damage was the least of his worries, and encompassed frostbite, windburn, sunburn, and other things.
In the end all of this damage ended up to a diagnosis of Malignant Melanoma
Ironic considering that he had always been concerned about lung cancer despite quitting smoking over twenty years ago. Skin cancer
was something he had never even thought to worry about.
Several courses of chemotherapy, interferon treatments, and invasive surgery prolonged his life for three years past the initial diagnosis, but the cancer spread too much too quickly to be able to put him in remission.
Although the ending to this experience is not the one any of us were hoping for, in the end it had the effect of spreading the word in his family, friends, and community about the damage of skin exposure to the elements.
At the very least it has resulted in increased levels of awareness, and earlier detection in a couple of cases, which will lead to either an extended life or improved quality of life than if left undetected.Melanoma Skin CancerMalignant Melanoma Skin CancerSkin Cancer MelanomaSkin Cancer Moles