"I still do my spray tans. I still use my creams. I still go in the sun. Only I now wear sunscreen, hats, glasses -- everything I'm supposed to do," says Cheri Huber. "I didn't quit living after melanoma."
Like many women, Huber enjoys being tan. During the summer she was always lying out by the pool or on the beach. In the winter, she used a tanning bed.
Huber was 15 years old when she first used a tanning bed. "I probably went to the tanning salon three times a week," she says.
As she got older, she and her mother bought their own tanning bed after realizing they could save money this way.
Huber's melanoma diagnosis
In 2008, when Huber turned 35, she was due for a baseline mammogram. She decided to get a full-body checkup and went to the dermatologist as well.
"My dermatologist was not very happy when I told her how much I tanned, and that I even owned my own tanning bed," Huber recalls.
During the exam, the dermatologist noticed a scab on Huber's shin. "I don't really remember when it first showed up," she told her dermatologist. "I just assumed I cut myself shaving and kept irritating it."
Continue reading Texas tanning bed law: A melanoma survivor's take.
"Hold on. I can feel it getting better. Hold on. Be strong. Can you feel it getting better?"
These words of hope and encouragement are found in the chorus of the song "Hold On," written by Greg Lizee, Ph.D., associate professor in MD Anderson's Department of Melanoma Medical Oncology.
In 2002, a close friend of Lizee's was going through a tough time. Lizee wanted to cheer his friend up, so he decided to write an inspiring song.
"I was playing this very optimistic-sounding chord progression and thought about putting uplifting lyrics to it," says Lizee. "In just a few days I'd written 'Hold On.'"
The birth of Lizee's songwriting hobby
Lizee first became interested in music at age eight when he began piano lessons. Four years later, he picked up his first guitar.
"I've been in many bands over the years, but just as a hobby," says Lizee. He's been writing songs for about 15 years.
Lizee isn't shy to admit that his first songs weren't that great. "'Hold On' was the first song I wrote that I could actually listen to again and again," he says.
Continue reading "Hold On" - a song of hope for cancer patients.
March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. That
means it's a great time to think about scheduling a colonoscopy
cancer, cancer of the colon and rectum, is the third most common type of
cancer in the United States, not counting skin cancers. But many early stage
colon cancers can be prevented through a colonoscopy.
According to Gottumukkala
S. Raju, M.D., professor in the Department of Gastroenterology, cancer
begins as benign polyps within the colon and develops into cancer over years
when left untreated, mainly because they are undetected without a colonoscopy.
Continue reading Know your colon cancer risks: Get screened.