Woman Posts Powerful Photos Of Her Scars To Raise Awareness For Skin Cancer
An Indiana mother posted her post-surgery photos to warn others of the dangers of skin cancer.
Indianapolis legal assistant Judy Cloud, 49, played outside a lot as a child, but she only wore sunscreen with an SPF of 2 or 4, according to SELF.
She used tanning beds about four times a year throughout her 20s, mostly to look good for vacations.
In 1995, Cloud went to a dermatologist after noticing what she thought was a scab. She ended up being diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma, the most common type of skin cancer.
Cloud, whose family has a history of skin cancer, had 23 cancerous spots removed in her fourth surgery last September.
Toward the end of that month, she posted photos of her face, chest, arms and legs on Facebook to show the scarring left by the three-hour surgery.
Doctors had to cut into muscle in her mouth to remove the cancer.
This rendered her unable to fully open her mouth for at least four weeks...
...and the numbness in her left cheek has yet to subside.
She reminded others people of all skin types can get skin cancer.
The scars on her legs will heal, but the indentations are apparently permanent.
Cloud, additionally, lost all feeling in an area several inches above the scar on her forehead.
Five months after the surgery, the mother of two said the scars on her face healed, but those on her legs retained their bright red color.
Cloud told SELF,
I see too many young girls and teenagers who are tanned year round, and I know what they're doing to their skin. I just want people to not think it won't happen to them. If it does not show up right away, it could show up down the road, and it's not going to be pretty and it's not going to be fun. People don't need to die for a tan.
The bill for her outpatient procedure came out to $26,845.87, she wrote on Facebook.
Cloud said tanning salons often advertise discount packages, but those offers suddenly don't look so cheap compared to what it costs to fix the damage of skin cancer.
A report from the Skin Cancer Foundation states one in five Americans will experience skin cancer at some point.
The nonprofit organization also claims using a tanning bed before the age of 35 increases one's risk of melanoma by 75 percent.