Melanoma: It Started with a Freckle – Preface Excerpt

me and bookIt occurred to me that perhaps it would be a good idea to include a section from the preface. The truth, however, is that I just plain forgot. Ergo, below is a selection from the preface of my book, Melanoma: It Started with a Freckle, published by McGann Publishing and available on

Here’s what Armin Brott, director of the top rated website, Talking About Men’s Health, Time Magazine’s “Superdad’s superdad” author and fatherhood expert said about the book:

Men are far more likely than women to die of skin cancer. But as with other health issues that contribute to men’s shorter, less-healthy lives, too many of us don’t know enough about the risk factors, symptoms, and possible treatments. David Stanley eloquently and passionately weaves together his own personal story and the latest science, and has created a truly important book. Read it. It could save your life. 

From the Preface

Everyone has a cancer story. Cancer strikes fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, children, nieces and nephews, loved ones and trusted friends, and everyone in between. Over the course of a lifetime, 40% of us will develop a cancer of some kind. Half of those attacked by cancer will die.

So why is this story, a melanoma story, in particular, important? Because melanoma is the only cancer, of the seven most common cancers, in which the incidence continues to grow. Since 2000, melanoma diagnoses have increased 2% every year. One out of fifty adults will develop melanoma during the lifetime. The incidence of squamous cell skin carcinomas has doubled since the mid-1980s. Over the past thirty years, more people have had skin cancer than all other cancers combined. So, why don’t we do more to protect ourselves?

Skin cancer in general, and melanoma in particular, suffers from a lack of awareness and press. It is not possible to watch television for more than an hour without seeing an anti-smoking commercial. Over the course of my lifetime, those commercials have, rightfully, become stark and graphic. As the pool of smokers shrinks, it takes more and more to budge those few smokers who remain to put down their Winstons.

But skin cancers face a tougher battle. Tanned skin looks good. Pale skin looks pasty, sallow, wan, ashen. According to an IBIS World report, the tanning industry has grown just over 3% annually since 2000, and generates about $5 billion dollars in revenue. That’s a lot of money for a product that when used regularly, is more effective than tobacco at causing cancer. Indeed, the Skin Cancer Foundation has found that more people develop skin cancer because of indoor tanning than there are smokers who develop lung cancer from smoking. The World Health Organization includes indoor tanning machines in its Group 1 carcinogens; the most dangerous cancer-causing agents. Group 1 also includes plutonium and cigarettes.

Like what you read? Buy the book on Amazon and LIKE MelanomaBook on Facebook for sun and skin tips and updates.

Now You Know…

Just FIVE peeling sunburns in your lifetime DOUBLES your chances of melanoma.                                         That’s 5. V. 101.




The Beginning
About David Stanley

Teacher & science guy, writer, musician, coach, skier and bike racer, I am interested… in everything; your story, food & spirits and music and everything in the natural world, spirit & sport. My son is 22 and still needs his Dad. I am 56 and so do I.
I blog on life and death, cancer and sports, kids and education at

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