Tawny Willoughby, a mother and registered nurse at Eliza Coffee Memorial Hospital in Alabama, went tanning four to five times a week back when she was in high school and by the time she was just 21-years-old, she was diagnosed with skin cancer.
Her diagnosis came as a result of a chance checkup which came after one of her nursing school classmates had been diagnosed with melanoma.
In regards to her skin-cancer induced tanning, Willoughby was quoted by CNN as having said that she “didn’t really even think about the future or skin cancer” while she was frequently tanning during her teenage years.
I had my own personal tanning bed in my home, and so did a lot of my friends growing up. … Everyone tanned (…) I didn’t really even think about the future or skin cancer at the time.
The now 27-year-old Tawny, who says she’s had basal cell carcinoma five times as well as a singular instance of squamous cell carcinoma, now serves as a cautionary tale for those who frequent tanning beds after having shared her skin cancer selfie on Facebook last month — which CNN reports to have been shared nearly 50,000 times.
The picture, which illustrates the dangers associated with excessive tanning, was “reported” after having been shared 10,716 times, according to an entry on Willoughby’s Facebook account. The entry contained what appeared to be a screen capture of a Facebook notification indicating that someone had reported the image “for containing graphic violence.”
ABC News reported that her advice to others interested in tanning is to apply sunscreen and stick with the spray tans because you “only get one skin and you should take care of it.”
Wear sunscreen and get a spray tan. You only get one skin and you should take care of it. Learn from other people’s mistakes. Don’t let tanning prevent you from seeing your children grow up. That’s my biggest fear now that I have a two year old little boy of my own.
In other cancer coverage here at Immortal News, researchers in Australia have found a daily vitamin that reduces the risk of skin cancer.