My name is Anthea Smith.
I have melanoma stage 3c, caused by sunbed use.
I have no idea how long I have to live, as it's extremely sneaky and aggressive.
I have had my whole left ear and tragus amputated, followed by whole left side- inner/middle ear removed, temporal bone, salivary glands, lymph nodes, facial nerve cut and stripped and removal of salivary glands, skin taken from the right leg (knee to hip) to replace the skin, vessels and tissue taken, followed by 32 sessions of radiotherapy to my head, neck and shoulder.
I now wear SPF 50 sun protection each and every day, I also wear my Solbari black sun hat with neck protection, and Solbari black sun wrap. We were able to spend a month in Australia Jan/Feb 2019, and thanks to your fab clothing I didn't have to worry about the risk of burning.
The area of skin that my radiotherapy treatment was targeted at is now extremely sensitive to perfumes and new creams/lotions, and I have been diagnosed with Jessner lymphocytic infiltrate. When my skin reacts, it's extremely itchy with red scaly patches.
My wrap covers the affected area of skin and also keeps it cool. I have creams prescribed by my dermatologist and try my best to keep my condition under some control. I'm glad to be alive and try to find the positives in each and every day.
Thank you Anthea for helping raise awareness for skin conditions by sharing your story with us and our Solbari Community.
The Solbari Team
Your skin is your largest organ and has a long memory. Sun exposure and ultraviolet (UV) damage is cumulative throughout your life. Research shows that sun damage contributes to more than 90% of wrinkles, brown spots, premature skin ageing as well as precancerous and cancerous skin lesions.
It is very difficult to the untrained eye to identify melanomas and skin cancers because they can come in many different shapes and sizes.
As Associate Professor Rosemary Nixon from the Skin & Cancer Foundation Inc. says, "the earlier a skin cancer is identified and treated, the better the chance of avoiding surgery, or in the case of a serious melanoma or skin cancer, potential disfigurement or even death."