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Brooke Baldwin: Love the sun, hate the sun, but wear sunscreen!!
April 15th, 2011
12:15 PM ET

Brooke Baldwin: Love the sun, hate the sun, but wear sunscreen!!

I've always had a love hate relationship with the sun. Since I was a kid, growing up in Georgia, I've loved the outdoors. The pool during the summer. Playing sports outside. and of course getting a tan at the beach. Only, I wasn't like my other girlfriends who would sit by the water and turn a nice shade of bronze. Oh no. I, being the blue-eyed, brunette fair-skinned girl that I am, would burn. And I mean burn.

I can remember going to Hawaii as a kid with my family. Spring break. We'd head to the beach and then there was my mom (whom I love dearly, mind you, but after so many times of hearing this, I started to tune her out), "Brooke, put on your sunscreen!" Ugh. "What do mothers know?" I thought. (Ha! A lot, apparently. More on that later.)

In my teen years I cared more about beating my brother to the beach, rushing out into the water first. Sunscreen? No time. And reapplying? Forget it. I didn't want to deal. And so I remember I just about ruined our trip to Maui one year - I must've been in the fifth or sixth grade. One day in the scorching sun.Woke up the next morning and could not move. Scorching pain. I'll spare you the details. Needless to say, the sun held me hostage in my Hawaii hotel room for the next 24 to 48 hours. Snorkeling trip? Forget it. Horseback riding? Nope. (Sorry, family.) I, Brooke Baldwin, did not "do" sunscreen.

But then I got older and wiser (about time). In college and beyond, I would slap on the SPF. But by this point in time, I'm afraid serious sun damage had been done. Keep in mind, I never dared to hit a tanning bed or ever coat myself in coconut oil (How do girls do that? Can we say "burn!"?). Sunscreen was becoming part of my vernacular but it certainly wasn't a day-to-day thing.

Fast forward to summer 2010: I start to notice this tiny scratch on the bridge of my nose. Almost looked like a cat got me. In fact, I thought at first it was a scratch. And working on-air at CNN I go into makeup every day. So by the time I get home and vigorously wipe it all off, it would bleed. Barely bleed. But it was enough to cause me some pause. But did I go into the dermatologist then? Nah. Because in a matter of months, it went away. And I thought I was in the clear.

But I wasn't. Just two months ago this little obstinate scratch - poof - came back. And it was this time that I knew I needed to get into my dermatologist. ASAP. So I went. And it was one of those visits when the doc asks you a bunch of questions and you answer "yes" to every one of them. (Does it bleed? Yes. Have you had it more than a month? Yes. Have you had a few bad sunburns as a kid? Yes). So she said to me: "Brooke, we need to do a biopsy." OK, never had one of those before. So she took out the tiniest little scalpel (keep in mind, this thing is on my nose and I'm watching my dermatologist's every move as she narrows in on my nose with a sharp scary object). Oh and did I mention I work in TV... like ON TV. So all I could think was "Of all places I could have skin cancer it could be - bullseye - in the center of my face?" Great. She took a small scoop, popped a bandage on my face and sent the sample into the lab.

A few days later the biopsy came back: positive - basal cell skin cancer, the lowest form. The doc told me, "You'll be fine, but you have to go to this specialist and go get a Mohs (procedure)." So being a reporter, I go home, do my homework and start Googling everything I can about a "Mohs." You know the first picture that popped up - a woman with a dent in her nose from her cancer removed. A dent. Not kidding. (Great.)

So a month later, I take a few "vacation" days from work (Ha, vacation) and go to this specialist/plastic surgeon to have this Mohs procedure. Basically it was very similar to a biopsy but more invasive. They numbed my nose (oh yeah, a big, long needle headed straight into my face - and now I can say, THAT was the most painful part of the procedure.) He then took a small scalpel and in he went, cutting out the cancer. And then the wait. They take the skin, test the margins and figure out if they need to go back in and cut out some more. They did - but only one more time. All in all, fairly painless.

The following two days, I kept a large pressure bandage on my face and a steady rotation of frozen peas on my nose and eyes to keep the swelling down. The pain was minimal. It was the stares I got in the grocery store or out walking my dog that were the best part. It's that, "Oh my, did she get a nose job?" look. Finally, that bandage came off and on came a tiny BandAid. And as I sit here and type exactly a week later, I still have a small BandAid on my nose. I've worn it on air the last three days. Even my newsroom show team put bandages on their noses in solidarity. By now, the stitches have just about dissolved. And I think soon enough I'll be good as new.

I do have to admit: Still love the sun. You can't stop me from being the outdoorsy gal I am. But I now carry SPF everywhere. And I, at nearly 32 years of age, still have a mother who always finds a way to work in "wear sunscreen" into any conversation. And now, she has good reason. So learn from me (what I should have learned from my mother years ago): Wear sunscreen.

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Filed under: Skin Cancer

soundoff (60 Responses)
  1. Robert E Henkin MD

    Brooke,

    Thank you for sharing your story. I watch CNN almost all day and enjoy your portion of the day. I am sure you know you are at risk for a more serious disease, malignant melanoma. You need to get into a surveillance program immediately. In this program about every six months you see the doctor and thy do a full body skin exam looking for early melanomas.

    Good luck and thanks for sharing.

    April 15, 2011 at 13:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Jim

    Melanoma is serious business, I have had two, one the rare unpigmented kind the other equally as dangerous. While I was at the hospital I met another melanoma patient who passed away about six months after surgery. Thank you Brooke for caring the message. Cover up and Wear Sunscreen!!!

    April 15, 2011 at 13:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Sam

    Sun is essential to human health and sunscreen is one reason why the majority of people are vitamin D deficient (office work being another). Likewise, the combo of heat, sun, and chemicals may be a reason why MORE people are diagnosed with skin cancer, while the numbers of sunscreen wearing people increases. One reason, sunscreen gives people a false sense of [sun] security; another reason, sunscreen is loaded with chemicals. It does not seem far-fetched to think that the combo of heat, sun, and chemicals is CAUSING more incidences of skin cancer. Instead of smothering your skin with sunscreen, a more prudent protection plan is to stay out of the sun unprotected for long durations (a sunburn is a great indicator that you were in the sun too long). If you happen to be in a situation where it's impossible to stay out of the sun, be sure to bring a hat, long sleeve shirt, and long pants.

    April 15, 2011 at 13:31 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Rebecca

      Sam, I appreciate that you are trying to help, but your info is unsupported. Skin cancer is the most prevalent cancer in the US, and kills almost 12,000 people per year. I couldn't even find any stats on deaths from Ricketts (vitamin D deficiency) although I did find that you can simply augment your D intake with supplements. Science is, of course, ever evolving, but we have to do the best we can based on proven information, and not on unfounded theories and fear-mongering.

      April 15, 2011 at 13:51 | Report abuse |
    • Sam

      Rebecca, I am not stating facts to support my claims. Rather, I am asking a simple question. "Why is it that we are a nation of sunscreen lathered individuals who are being diagnosed increasingly with skin cancer?" It seems illogical to think that sunscreen is protecting us from the “harmful” sun. Sunscreen may help to moderately “protect” us from the sun, but this gives the general population the confidence to stay outside for extended periods of time under the false pretense that they are “protected”. Furthermore, it seems suspect to assume that smearing chemicals (read: lotion) over the body is safe. Hence my skepticism.

      I have neither the money, time, nor intelligence to prove I am correct, but it seems like a logical conclusion to assume that sunscreen is neither healthy nor an adequate protection from the sun.

      The talk of deaths due to Vitamin D deficiency misses the point, in my opinion. A “negative consequence” is not solely limited to death (as described by you). Rather, illness, decreased bone density, cancer, etc are other indicators of 'negative consequences'.

      And lastly, 15mins of daily sun exposure provide more than enough vitamin D. Multivitamins, despite what all the experts say, are not as bio-available as the sun; and are not natural. This is another topic, but I'd argue that the majority of multivitamins people ingest are either not absorbed (at best), or toxic (at worst).

      I could continue this, but in the end, each person needs to make his/her own decision. Wearing sunscreen, in my opinion, is the “conventional wisdom” speak at its worst.

      April 15, 2011 at 16:25 | Report abuse |
  4. Mongo

    Sam,

    You sound like you are insufficiently endowed below the belt. Sack it up bro.

    April 15, 2011 at 13:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. jj

    Good luck, Brooke, and keep monitoring the situation

    April 15, 2011 at 13:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Rebecca

    THANK YOU for your post. As someone who now has more biopsy scars than I can keep track of and a plastic surgeon with whom I am now on a first name basis, I want to shudder every time a friend shows up with a burn and mentions how s/he forgot to apply sunscreen. They get the Mom Speech from me. Visit a tanning bed? I give them the Deluxe Mom Speech. (I don't actually have kids yet, but I do a great Mom Speech!)

    For those who, like me, are sensitive to regular sunscreens, I have to throw a vote out for mineral sunscreens. They don't irritate my skin as much and are effective without the 15 minute wait. Also, read up on how much sunscreen to use. Most people put on too little. Finally, don't trust your white tee to protect you from the sun. I read that they offer an SPF of around 10.

    Take care!!

    April 15, 2011 at 13:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. steve westrich

    Brooke, so sorry to hear about your skin cancer. I too have skin cancer, basal thank God, and I have gone through 20 MOHS procedures. one procedure was so bad, it was on top of my left ear, that the doctor had to return SIX times to get a clear margin(it now looks like mike tyson bit my ear!). The things we learn as we get older!! Good luck with your treatment and wear sunscreen.

    April 15, 2011 at 13:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. R

    You can say it till your blue in the face but many people won't listen and will willingly let themselves turn and burn to tan.

    April 15, 2011 at 13:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Paul Sibley

    MOH's – know it personally except over 12 hours of surgery, and I was not a sun person. Still going strong with a great event for cancer research coming up: CancerRunner.org Best of luck Brooke!!

    April 15, 2011 at 13:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Eric Raible

    I also have blue eyes and fair skin. From a young age we were always in the sun, swim teams, beach vacations, outdoor activities. I was to busy to apply sun screen. Well at age 46 I have been through 3 surgeries to remove basal patches from my face. And Yes they have left the permanent scar's that remind me everyday to wear SPF. I have it in my aftershave lotion, I carry it to my daughters softball, and my son's Lacrosse games. Please take the sun serious, and learn from our mistakes.

    April 15, 2011 at 13:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. DrFood

    Basal cell skin cancer is alot easier to manage than melanoma. Consider yourself fortunate Brooke. If it would have been melanoma, and you would have waited 2 months to get it checked, you might be dead. As it is, I'm glad you're ok and you have a good wakeup call to get you motivated.

    April 15, 2011 at 13:48 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Starsky

      Not a very nice comment. Anyone can get skin cancer. Sunscreen use and staying out of the sun may not prevent it. Obviously you are not extremely fair-skinned, or else you have so far been lucky to avoid this. So far, being the key words. It's not the person with cancer's "fault." Let's support each other!

      April 16, 2011 at 04:55 | Report abuse |
  12. Chris F

    There is a high probability that the large amount of make up that you have put on your face on a daily basis. Make up is loaded with chemicals that are not naturally prevelant in our skin. I'm not saying that the make up caused the basal cells, or that the UV rays did. There is research in both directions to support both causes. But overexposure is the true problem. The sun is not the enemy, the sun gives life, vitamin D is one of the greatest vitamins for a persons body. Slapping massive amounts of sunscreen on every few hours is not the answer. There are also tons of chemicals in sunscreens. Being in the sun in moderation and using sunscreen in moderation is the key. Getting a light tan protects you from being burnt, and using a moderate amount of sunscreen or coverage clothing, helps protect as well. Overdoing anything is a bad idea.

    April 15, 2011 at 13:54 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Bob

      Thank you, Dr. Chris F. BTW, where did you do your residency?

      April 15, 2011 at 14:53 | Report abuse |
    • Starsky

      "Getting a light tan protects you from sunburn," you say. Well I'm sorry, that is not true. A tan signifies damage AND some of us NEVER tan, just go straight from pale skin to a burn, so please spare us.

      April 16, 2011 at 04:57 | Report abuse |
    • BillRubin

      "Getting a light tan protects you from being burnt"

      Wow, I can't believe people actually think this is true.

      April 16, 2011 at 21:52 | Report abuse |
  13. Gumby

    apply goat's pee-pee will also block the sun's harmful rays !

    April 15, 2011 at 13:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. David

    My father died of basal cell skin cancer that started as sunburn on his nose. He was an ophthalmologist and died at age 43. Wear sunscreen! Go Tarheels!

    April 15, 2011 at 14:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Bob

    Brooke–I have the same exact symptoms and placement you described. My GP told me not to worry about it but now I'm going to make an appointment with a dermatologist. THANK YOU!

    April 15, 2011 at 14:03 | Report abuse | Reply
    • julian

      bob – don't walk, RUN to a derm! my gp was not at all concerned about the little bump on my lower leg – i showed it to her 3 times over 18 months. she finally said i needed to go to a derm when she decided it had gotten too big to freeze off (never a mention of biopsy) – i now have a 4" wide by 1" deep crater in my leg where a wide excision for melanoma was done. i am lucky to be alive 9 yrs later. i go for regular skin checks, wear sunscreen daily and wear a floppy hat and sit under an umbrella at the beach. i still love the sun but i am cautious. i've never been to a tanning bed but we didn't even have suncreen when i was a small child – i swam everyday at a municipal pool and we went to the beach for a wk or 2 every yr – summer meant sunburns and we all accepted that. be careful.

      April 15, 2011 at 14:56 | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      Well, I'm back from the dermatologist and it was pre cancer. Actinic keratosis, otherwise known as solar keratosis. He couldn't even see it but he could feel it. He's going to freeze it off in a couple of weeks. Thanks Brooke! I've been ignoring this for years (as has my GP). You saved my life!

      May 18, 2011 at 10:30 | Report abuse |
  16. Jenny

    Brooke- My 9 year old son and I watch you every afternoon while he unwinds from school, eats his snack and then heads off with friends. We love your show! You bring humor, common sense and coolness to CNN. Keep wearing your sunscreen so you can enjoy all your outdoor time and we can enjoy your show! Best Wishes.

    April 15, 2011 at 14:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. dave

    i like that blond hottie in gray

    April 15, 2011 at 14:04 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Bob

      And no one cares, especially her.

      April 15, 2011 at 14:55 | Report abuse |
  18. David

    I'm with you Brooke. I had Moh's surgury on my lower lip 4 weeks ago. The needle was the worst part, though the swelling and eating around a bandage was fun either. I'm a Big fan of yours and now sunscreen.

    April 15, 2011 at 14:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Michael

    I was wondering what the bandage was for. I, too was as a kid fair with light skin and blue eyes...unfortunately I was born in 1951 and oil was the thing for the beach. Like her, my mother would get very brown...and I would burn. Once I actually had 12 blisters on my shoulders from a day at the beach and several time my Mom had to cut off my t shirt 'cause I couldn't raise my arms. Many years and many burns later I am healthy and have no skin problems...but I do have a shoulder and ankles full of freckles and I'm waiting for the trip to the doctor.

    April 15, 2011 at 14:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Stephanie

    Thanks for sharing your story and good luck! I have melanoma on both sides of my family, and as a fair blond, do everything I can to avoid strong sun, and otherwise wear hats and sleeves/rash guards when out or swimming. I find sunscreen makes me break out and I hate applying it (and reapplying it after swimming...) so I usually opt to just cover up. A rash guard over a bikini bottom with a cool hat isn't a bad look!

    April 15, 2011 at 14:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. VK

    This scared me, and now I will start wearing sunscreen. I am an African American male with red hair and freckles. I need to protect my skin. Thanks for this story!

    April 15, 2011 at 14:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. kellyeller

    Thanks for this story. I have something that wounds almost exactly like what you described, only on the side of my nose. I am fair-skinned and had lots of sunburns as a kid. Now I'm really worried...but I will check with my doc asap.

    April 15, 2011 at 14:31 | Report abuse | Reply
    • kellyeller

      oops, sorry about the double post

      April 15, 2011 at 14:33 | Report abuse |
  23. kellyeller

    Thanks for this story. I have something that sounds almost exactly like what you described, only on the side of my nose. I am fair-skinned and had lots of sunburns as a kid. Now I'm really worried...but I will check with my doc asap.

    April 15, 2011 at 14:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. johnrj08

    I was a beach lifeguard in Southern California for ten years and have had two basil cell carcinomas removed. The most recent was removed from my cheek. Several years ago I had one removed from my back. Now I have a lesion on my ankle that will not heal, and I'm headed back to the dermatologist. It seems that these things take a long time to incubate. The trick is to move quickly and not mess around with them. You never know when they're more serious than a basil cell, which is easily treated.

    April 15, 2011 at 14:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. dragonwife

    One other great side effect of wearing sunscreen – it will help reduce exposure-related wrinkles! I'm also very fair-skinned and burn at the least overexposure. I make it a point to always wear sunscreen when I'm going to be outside for more than a short time (say, 30 minutes or so), and always wear makeup with sunscreen. And I can truthfully say that I look a lot younger than most women my age because I've been so careful. Granted, some of that is due to good genetics (thanks, mom), but it's very flattering and gratifying every time someone is surprised at my real age (mid-50s, but I'm usually taken for early 40s). So even if someone is foolishly unconcerned about skin cancer from exposure, he or she should wear sunscreen as a matter of vanity! We all want to look our best at whatever age we are, but I think most women (and a lot of men!) love being told "I never would have guessed you were that old". :-)

    April 15, 2011 at 14:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Captain

    Now, people, pay attention to the two postings that are explaining to you that slathering chemicals on your body, whether sunscreen, make-up, etc., is NOT the answer. The best defense against skin cancer is naturally occurring Vitamin D in the body. The best source of naturally occurring Vitamin D is the sun. Humans went through centuries without sunscreen and skin cancers of this type, while not unheard of, were relatively rare. The steady rise in skin cancers in recent years directly parallels the rise in sales and use of sunscreen. Chemicals, foreign to the body, are NOT the answer.

    April 15, 2011 at 14:54 | Report abuse | Reply
    • BillRubin

      Every summer, the rise in graffiti "directly parallels" the rise in sales of ice cream. It's as true of a correlation as the one you mentioned.

      Also consider that the rise in skin cancer happens to "directly parallel" improving skin cancer awareness and detection (source below). And, the incidence of skin cancer "directly parallels" sun exposure. And, this all "directly parallels" the increase in life expectancy.

      Hacker SM, Flowers FP. Squamous cell carcinoma of the skin. Will heightened awareness of risk factors slow its increase? Postgrad Med. 1993;93(8):115.

      April 16, 2011 at 01:02 | Report abuse |
  27. Lynn

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. I too underwent Basal Cell Carcinoma surgery on St. Patrick's Day. Yes the needle is the worst part. Mine was above my lip and started out as a little spot. Unfortunately, I waited six months before going to the doctor. My plastic surgeon told me the scar would not have been so long if I had gone to him sooner. He had to cut into my lip to get it all out and a month later my lip is still numb where it was cut. When he sliced my face and pulled it out with the tweezers it looked like it had a tail which was the part that went into my lip. I am fair-skinned and enjoyed the sun while growing up. I still enjoy being outside hiking and biking, but will be wearing long sleeves, long pants, a hat and sunscreen even when it is cloudy. I wish you all the best. Thanks again for sharing your story so others can get to their doctor sooner than what I did.

    April 15, 2011 at 14:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Trevor

    So your stupidy as a child got you cancer, but somehow you still managed to land a job at CNN as an anchor with the same level of stupidity intact (I've seen your bits Brooke, and you are dumb as a doornail). Keep milking this job Brooke, you'll get fired soon enough.

    April 15, 2011 at 14:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Karl

    Brooke,
    I for one greatly appreciate you sharing your story with the world. I have had two bouts with melanoma and see my dermotologist twice a year for checkups. It seems that he is taking a biopsy nearly every time I visit as a precaution. Many of my co-workers think it is some kind of joke, or a way for me to avoid work but I try to tell them skin cancer is serious business and left unchecked can be deadly serious.

    Reading your story reminds much of my own childhood and approach to the sun; "burn once and your good for the rest of the summer" was the mentality when I was a child. Well, unfortunately I am paying the price for this thought process. I hope those that read your story will understand the seriousness of dealing properly with the sun.

    April 15, 2011 at 15:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. donaldegar

    I was born in 1949 and spent many years in summer camp and at the beach. Have had more biopsies and Mohs surgeries than I can count, but am doing way better than my best friend who died of melanoma at the age of 35. Of course I advocate sunscreen every day, but implore mothers and fathers not to wait until they get to the pool to slather the sunscreen on their young children. It needs at least 15 minutes to absorb into the skin before it becomes effective.

    April 15, 2011 at 15:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Steve

    All those women are really cute.

    April 15, 2011 at 15:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. V1-Vr-V2

    Great reminder, Brooke. My wife is a Dermatologist and recently began treating several Basal-cell's on her upper chest - mementos from a time in her youth when she was far less judicious with her use of sunscreen. If it can happen to her, it can happen to anyone. So many others (myself included, before I met my wife) do not heed the dangers of UV exposure and we all need a good reminder on just how dangerous it can be.

    April 15, 2011 at 15:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Rich in South Jersey

    I noticed Brooke had a band aid on the other day and never gave it a thought why. But I'm glad she shared her story. Being a red-head freckle faced kid in the 60s, my Mom used to tell me to keep a shirt on while swimming back in the 60s, but it was in the BS (before sunscreen) days. It's wise to get a checkup by the dermotologist every couple of years, especially to get those skin marks checked that never really seem to go away.
    And Brooke, it was barely noticeable...even in high def.

    April 15, 2011 at 15:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Canadian dude

    (there really are some idiots on here)

    Anyway, like a lot of others here it seems, I'm in my mid forties and sunscreen was really not available or widespread in use when I was a kid...just like smoking was thought not to be a big deal at the time...same thing with lead in gasoline...or asbestos in brake pads....so don't judge older people that are starting to go through this please. I've had two AK"s dealt with on my face and I'm scared I'll start getting more serious spots popping up as I age.

    I've been perfectly upfront with everyone I meet...to the point of NOT wearing a bandage on my weeping, bleeding, scabby red and ugly spots as I go through treatment (thank-you Zyclara....ugh) and answering questions about what happened....to which I reply quite succinctly "this is the result of too much sun and no sunscreen".

    Hope everyone gets the message. It's YEARS AND YEARS AND YEARS later the effects of those sunburns you have as a young person show up. A lot like SMOKING.

    More personalities on TV need to share like you have Brooke.

    April 15, 2011 at 15:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Ex sunscreen user

    Sunscreen clogs your pores and causes acne, no matter whether the label says "non-comedogenic." Talk about false advertising. Used them all, they are all acne causing. It also is proven to turn off your thyroid gland and is estrogenic, turning men into women because it goes through your skin and is found in the bloodstream. If you are not getting burned, or spend everyday all day long in the sun, sunscreen is unnecessary. The only time its necessary is for long days in the sun. After one or two hours, a heavy slathering of sunscreen is baked and oxidized beyond useful to toxic and is worse than had you not worn any. Reapply, if you are going to use it for more than a few hours.

    April 15, 2011 at 16:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Cosmetic value only

    There is no proof that sunscreen prevents skin cancer with its usage in long term sun exposure. There is proof that it gets into your bloodstream and does weird things to you all over NCBI. It might help in decreasing leather skin and wrinkles, but it does get into your blood.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15191542

    April 15, 2011 at 16:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Canadian dude

    Wow, you people really are stupid.

    I actually laughed out loud and I just had to post again....sorry to say Ex Sunscreen User.....a few zits are the LEAST of your problems.

    April 15, 2011 at 16:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Canada Sucks

    Canadian: What doesn't make sense about affects thyroid function? You slather this on everyday, it is going to clonally select for franken cells with each division. Nobody is stopping you! You can call Einstein stupid, but it doesn't change the fact that he isn't.

    April 15, 2011 at 17:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Dr. Cindy Stewart

    Sunscreen is important, but always use zinc oxide base. The usual, oxybenzone, is now being associated with being a carcinogen itself. The public needs to demand safe sunscreens.

    April 16, 2011 at 18:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Alan

    I have a sensitive skin and suffered sunburn and used sunscreen my whole life. At 42, I was diagnosed with first stage skin cancer. I had small sores on my arms, neck, and back, lots of them. I went for treatment and had 17 of them removed on the first day, a painful experience. I was supposed to go back when those had healed to get the next lot done but I decided to do some research to see if there was an easier way. I came across a book by a lady called Mary Ann Shearer, 'The Natural Way', which promotes a path to good health through a diet high in raw vegetables and fruit. I went 90% raw and cut out all meat and dairy products and I noticed an almost immediate change for the better in the skin cancers. Now, 7 years later, I still eat this way and the skin cancer is a thing of the past. They just went away and I go in the sun more than ever and without sunscreen, I just don't burn anymore. I now also firmly believe that the reason skin cancer is on the rise is food related and the chemicals in sunscreen are adding to the problem.

    April 17, 2011 at 10:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Staceyann C. Dolenti

    I've been wearing sunscreen every single day since I was about 14 years old. It's so easy just to make it part of your daily routine. No reason not to do it unless you like to look mature.

    Staceyann C. Dolenti

    April 17, 2011 at 16:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Phil, Ohio

    Brook, I wish you the best and no repeats of this. Use the sunscreen and buy a big hat to cover your face.
    Living in N. Ohio, the Sun just seems hotter now than when I was a kid back in the late 50s & 60s. You can feel it burn after only a few minutes, so I just stay out of it. Having olive skin, I seldom burn, but down on the Equator a few years ago, it got me.

    April 18, 2011 at 06:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Jerri P

    I have a lesion on my face that was recently diagnosed as basal cell carcinoma. Like many of you, I immediately began doing research to see if there was a less invasive approach than Mohs and came across an option that uses low dose radiation. It requires about 8 treatments. Since it is a technique that basically uses radiaiton that pentrates enough to handle non melanoma and squamous cell cancers, it appears to be safe and effective (mid 90 percentile cure rate). Have any of you tried this less invasive option? If so, what was your experience? If not, why not? The cosmetic results are much more attractive and with close monitoring, if I happen to fall within the subset of the 5% that does not experience a cure, I can always come back with to surgery. Your thoughts?

    April 19, 2011 at 11:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Daniel Holt

    Thanks for sharing, I think we all have put off something medical as the thought sometimes scares us or we think it will just go away and don't take the time. I am Glad things worked out as I talked with a friend who said she does this type of surgical procedures all the time. I Know for me, going into a operation room was the hardest part but then the Nurses would be nice and make jokes to relax me which helped some but it is always scary. I'm Glad things worked out as we all enjoy reading a Happy ending we learn something from "WEAR SUNSCREEN" Great Story Thanks again for sharing.

    April 23, 2011 at 09:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Tom Leykis

    Personally, I'd like to splooge on her.

    September 28, 2011 at 21:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. karzai

    With or without bandaids, you're still the hottest thing on TV, easily.....

    November 3, 2011 at 14:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. philippe

    Brooke,thank you for sharing your privite live,i am your fan from bruxelles.good lucky and continue to do your job;you are the sun of too much people.philippe

    November 16, 2011 at 18:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Claudia

    Aw I love Brooke

    December 19, 2011 at 14:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Michael

    IOnly one time in my life, when I was a teen, was I foolish tanning outside(about in '89). One day, I spent quite a few hours outside during a nice Summer month. I ended up getting blistered. I have never been outside again with the sole purpose of getting a tan. That was the first and last time I ever did something like that.

    May 3, 2012 at 16:02 | Report abuse | Reply

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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.