These days, it seems like we've reached a point of health awareness and research where we know that certain things are definitely bad for us. Smoking, for example, is decreasing in the states every year, as many now realize that if you smoke, it's not a matter of if you'll get sick, but when. Certain foods have been revealed to be totally unhealthy, and things like "low-fat" treats sweetened with chemicals don't have the same appeal that they used to.
Unfortunately, despite our current awareness for what's good for us, some of the damage has already been done.
Take, for instance, the case of Jade Thrasher. This young woman had a habit for over a decade that she didn't quite realize was doing so much damage -- until, of course, it was too late. Read her harrowing tale, and if you partake in the same habit, it might be time to consider giving it a rest. Warning: Some of these images may be disturbing to look at.
An ordinary habit left this nurse with a coin-sized hole in her nose.
This is Jade Thrasher a nurse from Nashville, Tennessee. Until two years ago, Thrasher had a habit that she participated in regularly -- little did she know it would end up threatening her life. What happened next changed everything for her.
This 24-year-old loved to go tanning.
She did 20 minute sessions in the tanning beds, three times a week for about 11 years. Two years ago, she noticed something terrifying. And it wasn't terrifying like a spider on the wall. It was earth shattering, bone-chilling scary stuff!
Tanning beds are popular for the glow they produce in your skin.
UVA radiation from the sun indoor tanning lights stimulate melanocytes, cells in the lower skin layers, to produce melanin, a brownish pigment. Increased melanin protects your body from burning, so it serves as your body's protection against exposure to UV light. This is what creates that "glow".
The problem with UVA light is that it penetrates deep into the skin
It penetrates below the protective layer known as the epidermis. When the light hits the dermis, it also reaches blood vessels and nerves, and this can compromise your immune system and leave you vulnerable to melanoma. The UVA light also causes premature aging.
What happened to the nurse, however, was way worse.
It was 2014 when she got the spot on her nose. The spot kept bursting and forming a sore, then failed to heal. It was a bizarre situation that wasn't resolving itself at all. No matter what she did, it just wasn't going away.
Biopsies revealed that the growth was actually skin cancer and she would need to have the cells cut away.
Thrasher said that the doctors ended up cutting out a large circle from the skin on her nose, and when she saw it, she was horrified. Now skin cancer is a relatively common phenomenon among tanning bed users, but this seems rather excessive!
They took a piece of skin off of her chest to replace it.
They removed six inches from that area to graft onto her nose and make it look as good as new. What was supposed to simply be skin that looked healthy and sun-kissed turned out to be anything but. Don't believe us - take a look yourself.
Luckily, Thrasher caught it early.
She avoided having to get chemotherapy and radiation because when she first saw the spot, she acted quickly. She acted out of the fear that the spot was only going to get worse. It was this fear that saved her major heartache down the line.
But the situation didn't come without consequences.
"After surgery, for three weeks I could not bend over or do anything for myself because the graft on my sore was so crucial that I wasn't allowed to apply pressure to my head," - said Jade, now feeling much better about the situation.
She's also completely changed her outlook on tanning.
Now, she stays out of the sun (especially tanning beds) and always wears powerful sunscreen. "When you're a teenager you think you're invincible," she said, thinking back about her troubles. "But I covered my face while using the sunbed and I still got cancer."
Wolverine star Hugh Jackson has a similar story.
Actor Hugh Jackman enjoys the sun and sand. However, he has repeatedly urged his fans to remain sun-safe. His latest warning came after having another basal cell carcinoma cut from his nose - the sixth skin cancer removed from his face in two years.
Basal cell carcinoma accounts for 75 per cent of all skin cancers.
It is a non melanoma skin cancer which usually develops in the outermost layer of the skin, known as the epidermis. If left untreated for too long, the skin cancer can spread, and before you know it, your whole life is at risk.
However, there is a considerably low risk that the cancer will spread to other parts of the body.
Around 90 per cent of non-melanoma skin cancer cases are successfully cured. If the tumor isn't treated fairly early on, however, there is the possibility of skin damage. And if the problem is ignored further, you're putting yourself in unnecessary harm's way.
So make sure to wear sunscreen.
The cancer can be avoided by taking adequate precautions when out in the sun. Wear sunscreen, and a hat. You can never be too careful where your health is concerned. Most importantly - why would you want to risk something like cancer.
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