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A Real Skin Cancer Story

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I know that at this time of year, you hear a lot about sunblock.

You’ll hear more from me, too, but first I want to introduce you to one of our partners who has a new relationship with the sun.

Meet Todd Shalley and read his skin cancer story.When I first met Todd, he had just received a diagnosis of early-stage melanoma, a deadly form of skin cancer. I performed surgery to remove the tumor and place a skin graft over the surgical site.

Fortunately, Todd is doing great today. But I’m sure he would agree that sun protection is more than an anti-aging concern—it’s a matter of life and death.

The sun’s rays can penetrate your car window, your office window and the clouds. Cumulative exposure on your hands, the tips of your ears, any exposed part can cause skin cancer. Keep in mind these basics every day, rain or shine:

  • Use a broad-spectrum UVA and UVB sunscreen every day on your face, hands and neck. We carry the Skin Medica line, which offers SPF 50 in an oil-free, PABA-free and fragrance-free formulation.
  • Apply sunscreen 15-30 minutes before going outside so that it has time to be absorbed by the skin. And reapply it every two hours, even if it says it’s waterproof.
  • Use a generous amount of sunscreen—at least an ounce to cover your body (picture a shot glass).
  • Avoid the sun altogether between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Wear a hat with a brim that shades not only your face but the back of your neck, and choose sunglasses that wrap around your face and block at least 99 percent of UVA and UVB radiation.

While I was glad to meet Todd and be a part of his healing journey, I’d like to help you avoid the uncertainty and pain that he experienced. Thank you, Todd, for sharing your story. You’re an inspiration and motivation to us all! — Dr. Brian Lee

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