In the video below, you will see people giving messages to their 16-year-old selves. Unfortunately, they are too late. The sobering reality is time really is everything. There is definitely such a thing as “too late,” and this video is carefully designed to help healthy people to avoid the “too late” sense of regret. The people in the video are real. They weren’t paid to do this. They took time out of their busy lives to share their sad stories so the rest of us wouldn’t have to.
They have been victimized by something we typically see as our friend: the sun. And while the sun is an invaluable resource and gift of nature, like all good things, it must be dealt with carefully.
Because of sun damage these brothers, sisters, husbands and wives were all stricken with malignant melanoma. However, they made this video to help make sure you don’t suffer a similar fate.
According to the American Cancer Society, in 2015, a new melanoma diagnosis will occur every seven minutes. That’s almost 74,000 Americans. Every day we will lose 27 people to melanoma. White Americans are at a much higher risk than other demographic groups. One out of every 40 white Americans will contract the disease over the course of their lifetime. The statistics for African-American and Hispanics are better yet still grim: 1 in 1000 and 1 in 200 respectively. Even though we tend to associate melanoma with those who are older, it is, in reality a young disease. It is the second most common cancer among teenagers and young adults, striking a disproportionate number of females in particular.
According to the American Cancer Society, you are particularly at risk if you have light skin and have a tendency to either get freckles or burn in the sun. In addition, if you have blond or red hair, you are at an increased risk of developing melanoma.
As you will see in the video, melanoma can often begin with an innocent-looking mole on the skin. In fact, it’s often very difficult for doctors to tell the difference between a benign and a malignant mole. This can be the case even if a doctor uses a microscope.
Unfortunately, none of us can go back in time. This is why it is so crucial for everyone to not only pay attention to the warning signs but to do what they can to prevent this vicious disease from hijacking their lives as it did with the young people in this video.