'Never ever ever did I think this would happen to me': Mom warns about tanning bed after being diagnosed with skin cancer at 26

Mallory Lubbock <i>(Photo via Facebook)</i>
Mallory Lubbock (Photo via Facebook)

An Iowa mom of two is warning of the dangers of tanning beds after she was diagnosed with skin cancer at the age of 26.

Mallory Lubbock took to Facebook to share her experience — and to scold her younger self for not being more careful.

“Today I got my first cancerous spot removed. I now get to go back for suture removal/wound check, an appointment to get my whole body checked out, very routine check ups for a long while, and then routine check ups for life, and almost 100 per cent certainly many more painful ass appointments of getting skin cancer taken off my body,” she wrote.

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“Damn it 16-year-old Mallory that went tanning every single day for two years. I will try like hell to make sure my daughter will not be laying in a single tanning bed while she is under my roof and I hope her just hearing about and seeing mama go through this will be enough. You guys. Get your daughters out of tanning beds. Get your 16 year-old-sister out of them. Hell, get out of them yourselves,” she warned. “It’s so not worth it. Is tan skin really worth it? This shit will scar and this shit hurt. I am now the mom at the beach with the umbrella and my SPF 100 heavily applied. Never ever ever did I think this would happen to me.”

Lubbock posted the warning to deter others from using tanning beds, slamming the “it will never happen to me” mentality she once had.

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Her post has already resonated with many, with people around the world sharing their own stories.

“Thank you Mallory. I am reading your story from the U.K., you are spreading the word far and wide. I am 39 and was diagnosed with malignant melanoma almost two years ago. I too used tanning beds when I was young and spent far too long in the sun,” wrote one reader. “I am red haired, blue eyed with freckled skin but wanted the same tanned complexion as my friends! Who was I kidding? It was never going to happen! I too never thought it would happen to me. Hindsight is a wonderful thing! You are not alone on your journey. Stay strong and have courage.”

“Very awesome of you to share your frightening experience with the world. Prayers for quick healing and a long, healthy, happy life,” added another.

According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, melanoma is the third most common form of cancer in Canadian women between the ages of 15 and 29.

When it comes to prevention, the Canadian Skin Cancer Foundation suggests limiting exposure to the sun and avoiding tanning beds all together. Always apply a minimum of SPF 30 before spending time in the sun and wear a wide-brimmed hat. Keep in mind that UV exposure isn’t a seasonal concern and the sun’s rays are powerful year-round. Practice sun safety regardless of the temperatures outdoors.

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