“I had my own personal tanning bed in my home, and so did a lot of my friends growing up. … Everyone tanned,” Willoughby said. “I didn’t really even think about the future or skin cancer at the time.”
After one of her classmates in nursing school was diagnosed with melanoma, Willoughby made her first dermatology appointment at age 21. Sure enough, she had skin cancer.
Now 27, Willoughby says she has had basal cell carcinoma five times and squamous cell carcinoma once. She goes to the dermatologist every six to 12 months and usually has a cancerous piece of skin removed at each checkup.
She’s become a cautionary tale about the hazards of tanning beds, thanks to a selfie she posted last month on Facebook. The grisly image, taken after one of her cancer treatments, shows her face covered with bloody scabs and blisters. It’s since been shared almost 50,000 times. (Read more from “Frequent Tanner Shares Grisly Skin-Cancer Selfie” HERE)