While eagerly awaiting the end of High School, in the year 2005, my world disintegrated. I was in the last Semester of High School when I was diagnosed with stage 3 Skin Cancer.
In the US skin cancer is the most prevalent form of cancer and malignant melanoma, which constitutes one of the most virulent forms of this disease. The incidence of this disease has been continually on the increase.
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Moreover, there has been a drastic increase in its occurrence. The annual death toll due to this disease has been estimated in the thousands (The Burden of Skin Cancer, 2006).
Basically, skin cancer can be classified as melanoma, squamous cell carcinoma and basal cell carcinoma. The latter two forms of the disease make the patient quite ill and if ignored, result in significant mutilation and harm.
The deadliest form of this disease is melanoma, which is responsible for around three – fourths of the deaths that occur in the US due to skin cancer. The principal culprit for this disease has been identified as exposure to the ultraviolet rays emanating from the sun. In addition, it is possible to develop skin cancer if over exposed to sun lamps and tanning beds (The Burden of Skin Cancer, 2006).
Skin cancer is categorized as stage 0 or that which affects the epidermis, stage 1 cancer that is around three fourths of an inch in diameter, stage 2 where the affected area is greater than that in stage 1 and stage 3 in which the disease has spread to the tissues.
Finally, there is the stage 4 cancer, wherein the cancer has spread to other parts of the body. In general, such cancers are detected and treated before they reach the third stage. Early diagnosis of this malady makes it possible to effect a cure. As such it entails the excision of the affected parts (skin cancer , 2008).
I was unfortunate in being diagnosed with stage 3 skin cancer. Due to my comparatively, tender years, I had not encountered any major crises in life. This diagnosis was veritably like a bolt from the blue. However, after the initial despondency, I steeled myself.
The endless visits to the health care professionals, the seemingly interminable treatment sessions and other therapy sessions occupied most of my time.
I lost a lot during that time and I was constrained to discontinue further education for a period of two years. Now, by God’s Grace, I have recovered completely and I am eager and enthusiastic to study in college. In a way this disease proved to be a blessing in disguise, because it taught me forbearance and courage in adversity.
I have developed a very strong and positive attitude towards life. I view even the small blessings of life with deep gratitude. I no longer consider any task or venture as being too difficult to accomplish or succeed at. I am confident that I will complete my college education successfully and make it to the Dean’s List.
skin cancer . (2008). Encyclopædia Britannica. Ultimate Reference Suite . Chicago: Encyclopædia Britannica.
The Burden of Skin Cancer. (2006, March 27). Retrieved January 3, 2008, from National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion: http://www.cdc.gov/HealthyYouth/skincancer/facts.htm
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