One beautiful sunny day, way back in June 1990, I went hatless at the bicentennial celebrations around Sooke Harbour. I was having a blast. The activity & cooling sea breeze distracted me from the danger. As an adult, I knew better, but… gosh, I got scorched!
By that evening, the tops of my ears were bright red & tender.
Even the top of my head, where my hair was parted, sunburned.
Time to act more like a grown-up!
I’ve been a hat kinda girl since.
That was 30 years ago! I’ve been so good for decades.
Recently, the dermatologist agreed with my concern over an odd spot on the outer ridge of my left ear. A small biopsy determined it was basal cell carcinoma (BCC). Treatable. A quick visit with a plastic surgeon removed a larger section along the ear helix, to be sure all of the cancer was taken.
This is me practicing caution & assertiveness. Awhile back, I learned the most common spot for women to get skin cancer is on the ankle (See: My Happy Daffodil Campaign – Pt. 1). Now I’m happy I paid attention to this little spot, too.
- BCC occurs most often on skin that’s suffered serious sunburns – even if those burns happened way back in childhood.
- This is the most common spot for men to get skin cancer. I guess a baseball cap might shade the face, but does diddly for protecting the ears.
Ageing has also presented me with dry, flakey skin on the back of my hands. I learned it’s from long past sun exposure, too. It’s called actinic keratoses – NOT cancer. But it is a precursor to squamous cell carcinoma (SCC).
Who knew there were so many kinds of skin cancer?
Whenever my specialist becomes concerned about one of my spots of actinic keratoses, he zaps it with liquid nitrogen. It’s a simple treatment. I gotta like simple remedies… especially to avoid the alternative.
The other day the ear surgery results came back – I learned that for this surgery, all cancer was removed successfully.
It is lovely to ‘Live & Learn.’