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Protect and Prevent: Skin Cancer Survivor

Some may be sensitive to following photo content: healed wounds, sutures.

Here at Champion Pest Control, we take sun protection very seriously.


Safety is one of our top priorities, and as a team of Arizona natives, outdoor laborers, and a skin cancer survivor, we keep melanoma awareness at the forefront of our minds.


The first Monday of May is Melanoma Monday, an opportunity to review your skincare practices, especially protection and prevention. We have our technicians use common sense practices to deal with the heat and UV rays, such as sun hats, long sleeves and pants, sunscreen, and drinking lots of water. While they are diligent about gloves, long sleeves and pants for chemical mixing and application, we are using today as a reminder to push for taking the extra time to keep trucks and kits stocked with sun gear and talk to our technicians about additional steps we can take to encourage awareness and self-checks.


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Back in 2007, my mom, Regina became concerned about some new raised and colored bumps on my dad's back.


He has always been covered in freckles, and is used to getting more in the summer, and so he wasn't necessarily as concerned about the newest addition. Thankfully, my mom isn't one to back down and always goes with her gut. My dad saw a doctor and had the bumps checked, and, as always, the biopsy proved my mother correct. The spots were malignant (meaning cancerous) and would need to be removed.


Before:

Biopsy:


They ended up needing to remove a significant amount of tissue because of the spread, and left my dad with a large, scary, Frankenstein football-lacing scar on his back.


2007:

Today:


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It is a regular reminder to our whole family in the summertime, when we spend a lot of time by the pool, grilling and swimming out in the heat and exposed to the sun. The scar reaches from shoulder to shoulder, and over an inch wide, and as I checked it out again and talked with my dad while getting ready to make this post, I'm glad that those few inches of skin were all that cancer took of my dad.

Please share this story, and others like it, with friends and family as you talk together about the steps you plan to take this year to practice safe sun.


Visit www.aad.org/public/diseases/skin-cancer for more information about skin cancer and what you can do to prevent it.