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Treasure Coast Essay

Be careful in the sun

Those of us who live on the Treasure Coast or are just visiting here love the sun.  But remember that the sun is like the ocean.  Love it, yes.  But treat it with respect.  It can be dangerous.  I know.  I’m fair skinned and freckly, a legacy of my ancestors in northern Germany and Ireland.  I spent a lot of time in the sun – on the beach and on the water.  Until about five years ago, I never put on sun-blocker.  I would get burned and peel and eventually tan.  Actually, my tan was more of a maroon.  Then I noticed a purple spot on my chest.  A melanoma, said the dermatologist.  It was removed before the cancer could spread.  A year later, I noticed a small growth near my left eye.  A carcinoma, said the dermatologist.  It, too, was removed before the cancer could spread.  Recently, my eye doctor said I’m developing cataracts -- probably caused by the sun.  Now I spray sun-blocker all over my exposed skin.  I often wear a broad-brimmed hat. I try to stay out of the sun from mid-morning to mid-afternoon.   Light-skinned Caucasians are especially vulnerable to sun damage.  But no one is safe – no matter how dark your skin.  Medical experts say the U.S. is experiencing a skin-cancer epidemic.  At least 3.5 million new cases are reported each year.  Don’t be one of the victims.  Please.  For 88.9 FM, this is Paul Janensch.