Working outdoors

dk00 Member Posts: 3

Hey guys - 

I'm just looking for some advice.  I'm 32, about to turn 33, and was diagnosed with my first basal cell last month.  It has been successfully removed, but it's got me a little concerned.  You see, about 5 years ago I lost an uncle to melanoma.  And I grew up in the country and spent a lot of time outdoors (mountain biking, hiking, climbing trees, swimming...).  And yes, I did have around 1 - 2 sunburns each year as a child. So I'm concerned that this is my first basal cell with a potential for a long road ahead -  and I'm still young!  

Other background information: I currently spend a lot of time outdoors at a job (that I absolutely LOVE).  I live in the central valley of California, which has a lot of sun, hot weather, and air pollution.  I am also fair skinned, red head, and don't tan. On my free time I like to run, and hike, but I am "better than average" about wearing protective clothing and sunscreen. - I know better now!

So here is my question:  I work for a large company, and currently have the option of taking on an indoor job (which I will not enjoy nearly as much, but I should like 'enough').  I am considering it because it is almost exclusively indoors. Currently on an average day I probably spend 3 maybe 4 hours outside.  Some days I will spend up to 8 hours outside.   Should I switch to a job to get indoors and limit my sun exposure?  Or is wearing protective clothing and sunscreen enough?  I've asked my dermatologist and She recommends that I take the indoor position. What do you guys think?  (assume all other non-discussed factors are equal)


Any input, opinions would be greatly appreciated! 








  • GSP2
    GSP2 Member Posts: 103 Member
    edited April 2017 #2

    agree with your dermatologist, and if she advised you to get annual body surveillance checks, do it !

  • Rague
    Rague Member Posts: 3,653 Member
    Only you can make your decision

    I am more than twice your age and have spent a very large portion of that time outdoors.   I am very light skinned (but do 'tan' easily), very dark brown hair, light green eyes.  So yes, as old as I am there were no 'sunscreens' available when I was younger.

    I still spend a lot of time being the horsewoman and 'outdoor woman' I have always been, am and will remain the rest of my life.  There is no way that I would not have spent/spend the time being active outdoors.  I have had a BCC (Basal Cell Carcinoma) on my arm and a couple of SCC (Squamous Cell Carcinoma) on my face but I believe that life is to be lived and enjoyed to the utmost.

    My Derm. just insists that I keep slathered down with sunscreen and wear a somewhat wide brimed hat.  (I see my Derm on Tues for 6 mth check.)  

    Certainly the skin can be damaged by too much sunshine but on the converse lack of sunshine can cause a lot of other problems.  Low Vit. D is responsible for many issues among them SAD (Season Affective Disorder) which leads to depression.   I've heard that there are 'studies' linking low Vit D to BC.

    No one can tell you what is 'right' for you - only you can make that decision.