"Small penises were considered ideal in ancient Rome and large penises unsightly, and you have to appreciate the tiny-dicked man who was able to get that trend going." -anonymous // Charlie Know All is a fun mix of essays on living and the world of men (thus, the "small penises" quote). Occasionally I throw in other stories of people or things that inspire me, or, at the very least, make me laugh.
subtitle:// Mr. #JK admits he had skin-cancer on the Peen. A few weeks ago, Time Magazine published a cheery video on Facebook, which lead to an article,
written by Alice Park.
article, “Why Sunlight Is So Good For You”, originally published in August,
covered mood disorders caused by a sunlight deficiency in our diets, commonly
known as Winter Blues.
to Dr. Normal Rosenthal at Georgetown University, Winter Blues—or as he likes
to call it: Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD—is a feeling of sadness and
hopelessness that occurs when people spend too much time indoors and—in a
way—avoid exposure to natural light. The study says, that this all has
something to do with the amount of serotonin that pours from the brain into our
bodies. No matter the weather, direct exposure to sunlight forces the brain to
build up the amount of serotonin, which then leads to a (more) happy person. A
more healthy person even.
missed one tiny detail in the article, which isn’t talked about enough to my
taste: the destructive powers of the sun.
ago, my father was diagnosed with skin-cancer. My diagnosis of the same form of
cancer followed a year later.
father’s case, the skin-cancer was—apparently—clearly caused by an
over-exposure to the sun. Not that my father always walks around naked; it just
so happens that he was a roofer by profession. Which means that he worked in
the outdoors, six days a week, fifty-two weeks a year. And over forty years of
his life. Once retired, his skin turned against him.
At first he
developed the milder type of skin-cancer called squamous cell carcinoma or SCC. This type of
skin-cancer is found almost exclusively on sun-exposed skin such as the neck,
face and arms, and the rate of development is somehow correlated with
geographical location and the amount of sunlight a person is exposed to. More
precise, the amount of UV-rays in that very same sunlight.
Yet, as time
developed, so did his skin-cancer. And ultimately the SCC upgraded to the more
life-threatening Melanoma. Supposedly that is a way of thanking a man for
working very hard for forty years or so.
"Fighting Winter Blues in the South of France"
on the other hand, was more of a mystery, since it appeared on a part of my
body that—to my knowledge—has never even seen the sun. While my father had his
Melanoma treated, my dermatologist told me, that the ulcers on my penis—of all
places—were in fact basal cell carcinomas, or BCC’s. These BCC’s tend to cause
extensive local tissue damage. Considering the location on my body, I naturally freaked. Let’s just
put it this way: there isn’t enough sunlight in the world to lift my—then—current
*** these are NOT personal***
Rosenthal—and the author Alice Park along with him—forgot to mention, is that
too much exposure to sunlight is somehow, still correlated with skin-cancer. It has always
been this way. It will always stay this way.
one thing I learned during my trip through the world of skin-cancer, it’s that
we—as a human race, and more to the point, humans with a fair skin—do not
protect ourselves sufficiently from the destructing UV-rays. Obviously we bring
sunscreens along with us when we’re going to spend a day at the beach. We also
tend to bring along some marvellous, tropically smelling SPF’s with us when we
go on holidays to extremely sunny, white sandy locations somewhere on this
globe. It’s not that we are all ridiculously irresponsible in that field.
should be smearing these same protectors on our skins when we go to work as
well. Especially when you work in the outdoors. We should also be smearing
these protectors on our skins when we organize a little barbecue in our
backyards. Or any other garden-party for that matter. Because we tend to forget
that the sun in our backyards is the same sun that lights up the Sahara. It’s
the same sun that causes skin-damage in Australia. Just because your backyard
isn’t anywhere near the Sahara or Australia, doesn’t mean that the amount of UV
projected on your exposed skin is in any way less than “over there”. We tend to
forget to protect ourselves in the safe and happy place we call “home”. And
believe me: the sun does not discriminate.
Exposure to the
sun means that you should be covered in SPF’s all the time. Exposure to the
sun—no matter the reason—means that you should protect your skin all the time.
thing I learned is that the skin-cancer type called Melanoma, kills an
estimated 10,130 people in the US annually. Very bluntly that would mean that
the sun—natural mood lifter by profession apparently—kills about 10,000 people
in the US alone. Every year. Perhaps that motivates us to use sunblock more
you add climate change to that story. Whether it’s made up by politicians,
hippies, religious groups or simple businessmen, we cannot ignore the basic
signs this planet presents to us all. Things are changing. And perhaps you call
it “oh, it’s just the weather” we cannot be naïve any longer.
climate change, because a study by A.K. Bharath and R.J. Turner, published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine,
tie these three worlds all perfectly together.
According to this
study “Ozone depletion has led to an increase in skin-cancers and worryingly
this is still rising,” but a reduced Ozone layer is not the biggest issue here.
The biggest problem we face, due to climate change, is a behaviour change. The
greenhouse effect apparently causes wetter winters and dryer summers—in a very
weather during the summer is likely to encourage people to spend more time
outdoors. And it’s very likely that they go to the park—just to hang out with
friends—unprotected. That’s just how the human mind works. “It’s basically my
backyard. Sunscreen seems a little overdone.” And why shouldn’t we think this
way? It’s not that this type of protect-yourself is presented to us in happy
infomercials on a daily bases.
But more time
spend outdoors, unprotected, leads to an increase of exposure to UV-infused
sunlight. This may lead to an upbeat, happy mood, but the consequence of all
this, will be an growth in the occurrence of skin-cancer due to this behavioural
change, which is scientifically linked to the current environmental change and
therefore very much visible to us all. Check an average Instagram account and
count the number of exposed-skin-on-the-beach photos presented there.
according to Bharath and Turner, “the world has had about thirty years of
public health initiatives and awareness campaigns. Perhaps we can regard these
and more importantly act upon them? In order to protect the human race from
this preventable threat.”
Additional note: How to deal with skin-cancer on the peen? Read all about that little adventure in "Twelve Step Charlie"