Thursday, April 28, 2011

"God Made The Sun...Man Made The Chemicals"

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.

1 comment:

  1. As the saying goes, you can't fight stupid.

    I'm a stage III melanoma survivor. My own sister, who I've tried to teach otherwise, somehow believes it's still OK for her suntan. She never uses sunscreen or does anything to protect her skin from the sun. She'd be one of "those" people spouting off the need for sun exposure for the vitamin D benefits.

    I've realized some people just don't want to hear the message. They prefer to believe it can't happen to them. So they continue to tan, don't use sunscreen, and don't visit a dermatologist for skin exams. After all, it's JUST skin cancer - they just cut the mole off, right?

    Maybe we need a major melanoma event where we all proudly show our melanoma scars to show people there's far more to it than just cutting off an offending mole. Death by skin cancer doesn't seem to scare people - maybe appealing to their vanity would get their attention. (Seemed to work for breast cancer - save the ta-tas, and all that.)