I was raised in one of the most beautiful areas of the country; a small beach community in Florida. With that came sun and fun and a lifetime of great memories surfing, swimming in the ocean, lifeguarding at the beach, and all of the negative consequences that go along with the beach lifestyle. I had my first skin cancer diagnosed at agd 45. Several more have been diagnosed since but fortunately have been removed early due to vigilant surveillance by my dermatologist. Because of the regular skin checks that I receive, the size of my cancers have been small resulting in quick healing times and smaller scars. I am grateful to have access to a Dermatologist whose interest is in the treatment of skin cancer but many other Americans may not.
Hi, this is Dr. Terry Cronin, Jr. I’m a dermatologist and as a long time advocate for my specialty I know the challenges we face in the fight against skin cancer on behalf of our patients. In recent times, it seems that despite all the warnings that physicians offer there really is no end in sight to the skin cancer epidemic. I live in Florida, in a beachside community, and it still is shocking for me to go to the beach and see everyone laying out and “soaking up the sun” especially when I spend every workday removing skin cancers. Sometimes it seems the problem is insurmountable. One professor of mine once told me that she feared we could never “beat the bikini”.
I asked her what she meant by that and she told me “Terry, I’m afraid there’s nothing real sexy about telling people to cover up and stay out of the sun. People would rather enjoy the here and now and pay for their troubles later.”
I guess the point of all this is paying for the troubles. If treating these skin cancer wasn’t expensive, no one would be complaining but with 5 miilion Americans being treated every year with skin cancers plus precancers (AKs) affecting 58 million Americans, this is a serious issue for the bean counters in Washington, DC.
That’s why I’m happy to be involved with the SCSC, I know that patient’s voices are more important than doctor’s voices when it comes to politics. Doctors may represent only a small group but when you talk about their patients you’re quickly talking about millions of potential voters.
My hope is that this new group will be able to help shape discussions form the patient’s perspective and with the strength of numbers be able to make sure that all Americans can get the very best treatment for their skin cancers. This should also be a place where support is offered to those suffering from skin cancer and new relationships can be made survivor-to-survivor.