A young mother has been diagnosed with a deadly skin cancer after she used a tanning bed since she was a teenager.
Lisa Guthrie, 33, was given a tanning bed by her parents when she was 16 years-old. She tanned regularly for the next 17 years, until she started noticing strange bumps on her skin. According to Daily Mail, doctors found over 100 moles on her body and diagnosed her with a deadly skin cancer.
Though Lisa is now in remission, she has been told that there is a very high chance that her cancer will return. Now, she is an outspoken advocate against tanning beds.
“I was obsessed with getting a tan when I was younger,” she said. “I have always been obsessed with looking good. All my neighbors knew I had a sunbed because my room would glow blue.”
“At the time if you had a tan you looked good. The tubes on the sunbeds weren’t as powerful as they are now,” Lisa continued. “You would go on it for 20 minutes. I would set it for an hour and fall asleep, I was that bad.”
Lisa said that after she started noticing strange marks on her body, she signed up for yearly skin checks. During her checkup in May, she had two moles removed. Lisa recounted what happened next:
“The nurse said the one on my back looked a little bit grey in color. It wasn’t bleeding or itchy and it didn’t effect me in anyway. I just thought she was being over cautious.
She said lets be safe and get these two off. This was normal to me. It wasn’t anything to worry about. About two weeks later I was going to Benidorm with the girls on holiday. I plastered my oil and low factor sun cream on still not thinking I had skin cancer.
I got back off holiday and about one week after being back I received a telephone call from my doctors’ secretary. She said I needed to come in for an appointment. I asked why does she need me to come in. She said she couldn’t tell me but try not to worry.
I remember putting the phone down and breaking down. I told my husband “I have got skin cancer I know it”. We were both in massive shock.”
After her terrifying ordeal, Lisa is encouraging girls to find other ways to tan.
“There are some great spray tans out there these days,” she said. “A tan is not everything.”