How do you tell someone they might have Melanoma?

How do you tell someone they might have Melanoma?

There's a fine line between giving helpful advice and being a putz. Where is that line drawn?

In the last two years, I've noticed that I like to tell people about skin cancer prevention. I'm not very subtle. Whenever someone mentions that they're going to the beach or spending the day at a park, my first comment is always "sunscreen"....not have fun or enjoy your day...sunscreen. Helpful advice or dick move? I'm not sure about this one. I realize they already know about sunscreen, and probably use it, especially my lighter skinned friends, but really, I just want to help people avoid skin problems.

Then there are the ones who are already sunburned or tanned. What do you say to them? They probably can use the information, especially the ones who think they're safe because they're tan not burned. I always think about going up to them to share the info about skin cancer but then I get scared off. I think that would cross the line into putzville. I end up walking away.

About a month ago, I saw a man with a mole on the side of his face. It looked exactly like the photo you see at the top of this post. Melanoma. I couldn't decide what to do. Say something? Say nothing and walk away. I realized that he knew about the mole. Pretty hard not to acknowledge something like that, especially when it's on the side of his face. I assumed that he was doing something about it. You know what happens when you assume. I walked away....and I hope he did do something about the mole.

For someone who likes to talk the talk about Melanoma, I haven't been walking the walk, except when it's comfortable for me. I'm going to try to change that. Get out of my comfort zone about an important subject. If it makes me an ass, so be it. No more Melanoma victims on my watch.

This morning I'm heading to the Miles For Melanoma charity/fundraising walk in Chicago. Everyone there has either had Melanoma, is walking in honor of someone who has/had Melanoma, or both. I won't have to have any chats about skin cancer and prevention with this group. The good and bad news is we already know. Too bad no one told us sooner.

 

Related Post: How to protect yourself against Melanoma

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