Travel, Garden and Fitness Lover in my 60's
I am retired now and I love to be outdoors in my garden, my yoga, hiking and travelling to new destinations.
It wasn't until I retired and relocated to Queensland from Victoria that I discovered that yearly skin checks were important. Queensland has the highest rate of skin cancer in Australia. I was shocked to be diagnosed with a squamous cell cancer on my forearm and shortly after, a Basal Cell on my throat.
Both of these had appeared as harmless little spots that had been there for many years and then became slightly lumpy. Both cancers were removed successfully but left a couple of scars due to the margins that were taken.
As a fair skinned child growing up in the 60's and 70's, I would often get sun burnt. Those were the days when sun bathing was fashionable and brown was beautiful.
I spent 30 of my younger adult years competing in outdoor equestrian sports and although I applied sunscreen first thing in the morning, the reapplication process was often missed and sometimes the hat was forgotten! I did not realise then that the damage was slowly happening.
You only get one skin and I believe that it is never too late to look after it.
Sunscreen is the first thing that I now apply to exposed skin every morning.Sunscreens have come a long way since the days of the greasy or white zinc look and there are a lot of good ones around.
These days the protective UPF clothing is so fashionable, comfortable and cool. There is no excuse not to cover up and still look good.
I would tell my 16 year old self to slip, slop and slap everyday you know you are going to be exposed to UVA and UVB rays.
Please make it your number one habit to apply sunscreen to your face and any exposed skin every morning and don't forget to reapply.
Wear a wide brimmed hat and UPF protective clothing, preferably long sleeved and don't forget the sunglasses.
The sun doesn't have to be your enemy, but you don't want to end up with skin cancer, wrinkles or cataracts when you are older, so take action against sun damage now!
Thank you Anne for helping raise awareness for skin cancer, melanoma and skin conditions, and sharing your story with us and our Solbari Community.
The Solbari Team
It is very difficult to the untrained eye to identify melanomas and skin cancers because they can come in many different shapes and sizes.
As Associate Professor Rosemary Nixon from the Skin & Cancer Foundation Inc. says, "the earlier a skin cancer is identified and treated, the better the chance of avoiding surgery, or in the case of a serious melanoma or skin cancer, potential disfigurement or even death."