The "Hotel Melanoma" moniker is a metaphor for living with my particular brand of cancer. Except for those lucky few of us deemed "cured", all we cancer survivors are guests of one of the many, many branded hotels in the "Hotel Carcinoma" chain. We can check out any time we like, but we can never leave. Meanwhile, let's be livin' it up; and please support cancer education, prevention, and treatment research.

Tutu Brothers

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Folly of Youth

A study presented this week at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology tells me we’re going to need to build a new wing at the Hotel Melanoma. According to a survey of sorority members performed by a dermatologist at the University of Missouri, most young women know that indoor tanning raises their risk of skin cancer but they still do it anyway.

My initial reaction to this story was to get uppity, shake my head, and dismiss these young women as vain and vapid airheads. But then I remembered some of the high-risk behaviors I engaged in as a college student in the early 70’s, knowing they were risky but thinking I was bulletproof. I once read that the male brain doesn’t reach maturity until we reach the age of 25 or so, and until then we aren’t fully capable of rationally evaluating the potential risks and consequences of our actions. If I’m representative of my species and gender, I don’t doubt this one bit. So, I guess I need to cut these kids some slack and just hope they get regular skin checks and stop tanning before it’s too late?

Oy. I’ll sign off with some new words to ZZ Top’s “Legs”…

We got heads, don’t know how to use them
We tan in beds, we know they abuse skin
C only lets us wonder how we’ll feel then
Would heads still deny, friends, if we could only find them
C’s IV spree, please UV flee
Yeah, mel’s a fright

We get scares from cancer nannies
We’ve got our heads stuck right into our fannies
Every time we’re tannin’ we know what we do
Everybody wants to see, see if we can lose it
C’s not fine, C’s still mine
Mel, you cause a fright

We’ve got heads, don’t know how to use them
C lurks in beds, we know not to choose them
C bides its time and that’s not fine
Stays out of sight hidin’ through time
Oh, I want cures, said I got to have cures
This mel is all fright, C’s all fright

1 comment:

  1. I quoted you in a recent post about this issue: