Anna Gragert
June 28, 2016 12:24 pm
Freja Nicholson / www.facebook.com

The American Cancer Society reveals that while young adults do not commonly deal with cancer, there are many different types of cancer that can affect those under age 30. One such cancer is melanoma, which has increased 6.1% in Caucasian women under age 44, per year since 1981. Cases and studies show that Caucasians have a higher risk of getting skin cancer due to lower levels of melanin in their skin (which helps protect the skin against the sun). However, this does not mean that other races are immune to melanoma.

Overall, the American Cancer Society reports that – thus far in 2016 – 10,130 individuals have died as a result of skin cancer in the United States. Late last year, 18-year-old, United Kingdom-based student Freja Nicholson was a part of this statistic.

Four years before her passing, Freja’s mom Jennifer spotted a growing mole on her daughter’s back. She told Mirror, “Since she was born Freja had a small mole in the middle of her back, no bigger than a press-stud. But as she got bigger, it grew too and in 2012 we noticed it had gone lumpy and black.” At that point, Freja’s mole was removed for a biopsy and doctors found that it was benign, so no treatment was needed.

Then, two years later, Freja began to experience horrible headaches and soon discovered a lump under her left arm, one that revealed melanoma cancer when it was biopsied. It is unclear when this cancer developed, especially since the young woman’s mole was benign when biopsied. With that being said, another mole may have been malignant, which is why it’s important to get regular skin cancer screenings and to protect ourselves from the sun at all times.

[facebook url=https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10204551073321605&set=pb.1376722369.-2207520000.1467138596.&type=3&theater]

It was only then I remembered that mole on her back. I asked if they were related and doctors gently told me I should in no way have let our guard down. During these last few years cancer had rampaged through Freja while we carried on, blissfully unaware,explained Jennifer. “If I’d known I would have had her covered from head to toe – even in the UK sun – but I never dreamt it could lead to cancer.

Unfortunately, Freja’s condition worsened when it was discovered that she had a brain tumor. Though it was removed and the young woman was able to return to college, the cancer soon came back and spread to her left breast, lung, brain, and arm. In the end, Freja ended up back in the hospital.

Even then, the young woman remained positive and happy. She also took the time to raise over £20,000 (about $26,668) for The American Cancer Society reveals that while young adults do not commonly deal with cancer, there are many different types of cancer that can affect those under age 30. One such cancer is melanoma, which recently took the life of 18-year-old, United Kingdom-based student Freja Nicholson. Four years before her passing, Freja’s mom Jennifer spotted a growing mole on her daughter’s back. She told Mirror, “Since she was born Freja had a small mole in the middle of her back, no bigger than a press-stud. But as she got bigger, it grew too and in 2012 we noticed it had gone lumpy and black." At this point, Freja’s mole with removed for a biopsy and doctors found that it was benign, so no treatment was needed. Then, two years later, Freja began to experience horrible headaches and soon discovered a lump under her left arm, one that revealed melanoma cancer when it was biopsied. [facebook url=https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10204551073321605&set=pb.1376722369.-2207520000.1467138596.&type=3&theater] “It was only then I remembered that mole on her back. I asked if they were related and doctors gently told me I should in no way have let our guard down. During these last few years cancer had rampaged through Freja while we carried on, blissfully unaware," explained Jennifer. "If I’d known I would have had her covered from head to toe – even in the UK sun – but I never dreamt it could lead to cancer.” Unfortunately, Freja’s condition worsened when it was discovered that she had a brain tumor. Though it was removed and the young woman was able to return to college, the cancer soon came back and spread to her left breast, lung, brain, and arm. In the end, Freja ended up back in the hospital. Even then, the young woman remained positive and happy. She even took the time to raise over £20,000 (about $26,668) for Teenage Cancer Trust before passing away last November. Now, Freja’s mom is working to spread an important message about skin cancer, to prevent the same thing from happening to another person’s child. “There isn’t a day that goes by when I don’t wish I could go back and just take five minutes to put suncream on her delicate young skin when I mistakenly thought there was no danger," said Jennifer. “You never think it’ll be your child and you never think the sun in Britain could be fierce enough to kill, but Freja’s story is proof that it is." Though Jennifer religiously applied sunscreen to her daughter’s skin when they were on vacation, she didn’t do the same while at home in the U.K. “Don’t make the same mistake, because you will never ever forgive yourself,” she stated. [facebook url=https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=4920033723457&set=pb.1376722369.-2207520000.1467138596.&type=3&theater] To help with prevention, Yahoo! spoke to dermatologist Dr. J. Matthew Knight, who mentioned that protecting adolescents from the sun is incredibly important. That’s because nothing can be done to reverse sun damage. That’s why preventative measures must be taken – such as avoiding tanning beds, covering up in the sun, speaking shade during peak hours (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.), and applying sunscreen with an SPF 15 or higher. As for Freja’s mom, she concluded, “I tell any parent to keep an eye on any moles on their children, to do everything they can to protect the whole family from the sun, wherever you are.””>Teenage Cancer Trust before passing away last November.

Now, Freja’s mom is working to spread an important message about skin cancer, to prevent the same thing from happening to another person’s child. “There isn’t a day that goes by when I don’t wish I could go back and just take five minutes to put suncream on her delicate young skin when I mistakenly thought there was no danger,said Jennifer. “You never think it’ll be your child and you never think the sun in Britain could be fierce enough to kill, but Freja’s story is proof that it is.

Though Jennifer religiously applied sunscreen to her daughter’s skin when they were on vacation, she didn’t do the same while at home in the U.K. “Don’t make the same mistake, because you will never ever forgive yourself,” she stated.

[facebook url=https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=4920033723457&set=pb.1376722369.-2207520000.1467138596.&type=3&theater]

To help with prevention, Yahoo! spoke to dermatologist Dr. J. Matthew Knight, who mentioned that protecting adolescents from the sun is incredibly important – since nothing can be done to reverse sun damage. That’s why preventative measures must be taken, such as avoiding tanning beds, covering up in the sun, seeking shade during peak hours (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.), and applying sunscreen with an SPF 15 or higher.

As for Freja’s mom, she concluded, “I tell any parent to keep an eye on any moles on their children, to do everything they can to protect the whole family from the sun, wherever you are.

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