A couple weeks ago, I read an online article about a local 22 year old girl who had been diagnosed with malignant melanoma. Within the article, she was quoted as saying, "they called me about a week later and told me it was melanoma, and I had no idea what melanoma was."
As with most online articles nowadays, there was room for public comment. One of the first comments was “I'm just amazed that a 22-year-old wouldn't know what "melanoma" was.” Unfortunately, the girl’s statement didn’t surprise me as I’ve been reading of the ignorance that many people have regarding skin cancer and melanoma. So I wrote a comment of my own stating that thought.
Other comments were added, but then there was one that simply floored me. It read, “Skin Cancer does not come from the sun... It comes from all the chemicals you put on your body daily. (body wash, soaps suntan lotion cologne).. God Made the sun.... Man made the chemicals.”
While I’m sure there are topical products that could in fact contribute to skin cancer, there are literally volumes of research that shows UV radiation from the sun is a primary contributor…if not THE primary contributor. How anyone can blatantly state that the sun does not cause cancer because it’s made by God is beyond me. I responded…but only with “whatever you may believe causes skin cancer, it’s still important to see a dermatologist for a check-up.”The person never posted again, so I have no idea if they read my words or not. But this really enlightened me about a major obstacle in any awareness campaign. There will always be people that simply will not listen. Or, they’re so grounded to their own opinion that no amount of information or pleading will get them to change their mind. But I’ve decided not to let such attitudes anger me. Instead, I’ll gladly respect their right to not listen and simply move on to those who might. And I still hope this guy gets his skin checked out, no matter the cause.