I picked up the latest issue of Marie Claire Australia this week, the one where nude, pregnant Christina Aguilera is knocked off the cover by some chick that won Miss Universe, and it’s totally devoted to skin cancer and how to avoid getting it. Normally after reading a women’s magazine I feel like going out and buying some new shoes and maybe trying a new hair colour, after reading this one I feel like taking my (fake) tanned hide down to the hospital and updating my life insurance. Zooming in on my newfound paranoia about the fact that I obviously am going to die of skin cancer before I’m 30, is Eric Dane, McSteamy himself, who has recently recovered with his own brush with death. And selling the story to OK!
“I went to my dermatologist,” Eric reveals in an exclusive interview in the new issue of OK!. But the last thing the 35-year-old expected was to be diagnosed with skin cancer. “He said it was malignant tissue caused by sun damage.”
The malignancy was treated by freezing the cancerous tissue off with liquid nitrogen. Unfortunately for Eric, the actor had a severe reaction to a cream given to him for his lip after the treatment . “My skin is very sensitive,” the actor most famous for playing Dr. Mark “McSteamy” Sloan, explains to OK!, “and my lip was traumatized by the procedure I had to go through.”
His lip’s overreaction to the medication created a painful scenario that made eating difficult, if not impossible. “I didn’t eat very well for a couple of weeks and lost a bunch of weight,” Eric explains, estimating that he dropped at least 10 pounds off his 6’1″ frame while dealing with his cancer.
“Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States,” Dr. Micki Ly, a Maui, Hawaii-based dermatologist, explains to OK!. “More than a million cases are diagnosed annually.” But Eric was extremely wise to act quickly in dealing with it, she says. “The mouth is a bad area for a malignancy because they spread faster in mucosal areas, of which the mouth is one.”
It’s not only the middle aged and elderly that get skin cancer, but also people as young as twenty can suffer from skin cancer as a result of sun exposure. Recently an Australian 25-year-old woman actually died after repeated exposure to a solarium. I thought they were safe.
If you want to get checked out for skin cancer, check out the Cancer Council website. It tells you how to identify possible melanomas. Interestingly, Marie Claire says that that one of the most common places to get skin cancer is on the soles of your feet, because who remembers to put sunscreen there?
Oh, and Eric Danes has nothing to worry about. He is still completely McSteamy, and is almost cute enough for me to join in on the Grey’s Anatomy obsession everyone seems to have right now.
Note by Celebitchy: I am a very fair-skinned person and freckle and burn easily. Every winter I will do about 3-4 tanning bed sessions total in order to get some sun and boost my mood. Last week, though, I went to a new tanning salon and stupidly asked for 12 minutes on a medium-strength bed, because it was the lowest option listed on the board. I should have asked for 4-5 minutes, which is what I normally do. Of course I got a bad burn, my first in over ten years, and that m’fckr hurt! It is healthy to get some moderate sun for the vitamin D, but use sunscreen and don’t abuse the tanning beds.
Eric Dane is shown in the header at the Primetime Emmy Awards on 9/16/07, and below at the Glamour Magazine “Women of the Year Awards” on 11/5/07, thanks to PRPhotos.