Linda points to her fossil camel tooth
Much of my life has been spent outdoors. When I was a kid I worked Saturdays and all summer in the lumberyard part of the Beaumont Hardware & Lumber Company, under the broiling Southern California sun. Much of my recreation, until lately, has centered on hiking in the mountains. For quite a while I ran many hours on local roads, trails, and available tracks. As a geologist I did field work in sunny places like Chile, the Caribbean, and the Greek islands. The point is: in all that time I never wore a hat
. (I wear one now – to keep my head warm now that my hair has fallen out,)
And now I am paying for it. Every six months or so I go to the doctor to have the latest crop of skin cancers removed from the top of my head. They come off nicely when squirted with liquid nitrogen. The current batch (I can feel a bunch) will die early next week.
But of course, I worry about melanoma. No tricky arrangement if mirrors will enable me to study the top of my head, but I examine the moles I can see very carefully.
AND SO SHOULD YOU. Here is a handy guide to moles, melanoma, and everything in between, brought to you by the NIH. Bookmark it or something so you can consult it the next time a scary looking blotch appears on your skin.