She’s had 30 sun spots taken off her body in the past 20 years and just underwent her fourth surgery to remove her skin cancer. A U.S. woman is sharing graphic photos of her battle against skin cancer as a cautionary tale to others who love tanning beds and staying out in the sun without protection.
Judy Noble Cloud has had her sun spots lasered and cut out of her skin. She’s had stitches and lives with the scars from having her skin picked and prodded at in her fight against the disease.
“This is skin cancer. This is the result of using tanning beds when I was younger. This is the result of having numerous sunburns as a child and teen, and not being religious about applying sunscreen, and staying out in the sun far too long as a teen and into my 20s and even early 30s,” Cloud wrote in a Facebook post documenting her surgeries and recoveries.
“I hear too many people say that they feel better about how they look after they go to a tanning bed or after they bake in the sun for hours on end. Look at the pictures. This could be you,” she warned.
Her fourth operation was in September and is what she calls the “most invasive” skin surgery she’s had so far. During a three-hour procedure, she had 23 spots removed in one day – 10 by excision and 13 by laser. Her recovery time was two weeks long.
“The wounds on my face are healing, but what you can’t tell from the pictures is that the scar on my mouth is from a cut that had to go into the muscle because the cancer was into the muscle,” Cloud conceded. She had to eat soft food only for two weeks.
One month later and she still can’t open her mouth fully and can’t eat chewy or crunchy food.
Then there are the wounds across her chest, her shoulders, arms and legs. She says they’re inches long and some have left indentations that won’t go away even when the scars fade.
Her procedures cost her nearly $27,000.
“I’m really hoping the thought of going to a tanning bed no longer sounds quite so attractive to you,” Cloud said.
More than 80,000 cases of skin cancer are diagnosed in Canada each year, and more than 5,000 of them are melanoma, the most deadly form, according to the Canadian Skin Cancer Foundation.
The Canadian Cancer Society provides these signs and symptoms of melanoma:
- a new mark or spot on the skin
- a mole or spot that is changing in size, shape, colour or height (elevation or how much it is raised above the skin)
- a mole or spot that looks different from all of the other spots on your skin
- a mole or spot that is asymmetric (one side of the spot does not match the other)
- a mole or spot that doesn’t have a well-defined border (the edges are irregular, ragged, notched or blurred)