Why These Three Women Won't Be Suntanning This Summer



For some people, summer means long, lazy days and hot nights. Holidays and beaches. Swimming and thongs. But, as the experience of these three women show, there’s one thing that summer should never be synonymous with: suntanning. Read their stories, and you’ll see why…

“My brilliant friend lost her life to skin cancer at 28”

Writer Lisa Patulny has become a passionate campaigner for skin cancer awareness since a close friend passed away.

In 2018, I was mingling at a work event when my colleague, Natalie Fornasier, found me in the crowd. We’d both been away and were keen to catch up. There, in a sea of people making small talk, she told me her melanoma had returned. This time, she said, it was in her lungs. That was the moment I knew I’d never suntan again. A year ago this January, Natalie passed away. She was 28 years old.

“The biopsy revealed a squamous cell carcinoma”

PRIMER co-founder Felicity Robinson changed her attitude to tanning after a shock diagnosis.

In 2015, when I developed a small, rough patch of skin at the base of my neck, I didn’t worry. I was living in the UK at the time; I had three young children, and we were about to move back to Australia. My own health wasn’t at the top of my to-do list. I tried some cortisol cream, which didn’t help, and figured I’d get it sorted… later. A few months later, I saw a dermatologist, who also wasn’t worried. “We’ll burn it off and if it comes back, we’ll know it’s not so good". But suddenly, this wait-and-see approach didn’t feel so good either. I sought a second opinion from a surgeon friend, who agreed we might need to be more proactive. And he was right: a biopsy revealed that the scaly patch of skin was a squamous cell carcinoma (SCC).

“I have to wear a thick compression stocking every day”

Marketing manager Andrea Johnson, 31, contracted melanoma at 30 – and is still living with the effects.

I had just started a new job and I was at work when she rang. I recognised the number and I’d started walking towards a meeting room but before I could get there, she delivered the news: I had an invasive melanoma. I was shocked, and struggled to process that I had cancer at 30. Soon afterwards, I had more surgery to ensure the entire melanoma was removed. I also had two lymph nodes in my hip removed and tested so I could be completely sure I was cancer-free.

Meet The Women Making Thousands From Their Wardrobes



Read their stories at PRIMER.  


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