Canadian mom-of-three Honore Stark is now 53 years old. She's never used SPF products in her life. And that led to basal cell carcinoma, a type of skin cancer.
"I look like an acid attack victim," that is how Honor Stark describes her skin. The woman has to apply a special chemotherapy ointment to her face and body at least six hours every day. One of the side effects is skin itch that, according to Stark, feels as if "red, stinging ants" are running all over her body.
Honore's first symptoms of the disease appeared in 2008, when the mother of three noticed a coin-sized skin discoloration covered in scales on her forehead. A few months later Stark went to see the doctor, when the 'unusual spot' grew much closer to her frontal bone. "I walked into the doctor's office, I was very nervous and didn't know anything about skin cancer. She immediately looked at my forehead and said, 'You have cancer,'" the woman recalls the unfortunate day.
Stark underwent surgery in 2010, but it didn't solve the problem. The cancer had metastasized throughout her skin. So far, the Canadian resident has had 30 surgeries. "I've had so many surgeries over the years, that I've lost count," she adds.
The woman is now convinced that the main cause of the basal cell carcinoma is not wearing sunscreen. "I used to put sunscreen on my children, but I didn't use it myself," Stark explains. "I neither wore a hat nor walked under an umbrella, and that's why I have so many cancer cells."
In 2012 Stark was prescribed a chemotherapy cream that acts like poison to malignant cells. Since then, she's been suffering from skin itch. But there's no other way out. It's the price to pay to control the disease.
"It's important for me to spread information about the disease and its prevention because you can protect yourself and your children from this type of cancer at any time," Stark says.
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