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Nurse's Graphic Skin Cancer Selfie Shows The Ravages Of The Disease

05/13/2015 11:00 EDT

Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in Canada, and also, the most preventable form of the disease. But every year, thousands of people are diagnosed with it.

A recent study from the U.K. noted that 77 per cent of people would not be able to recognize if they had skin cancer, but for one Alabama nurse, there was no mistaking what was happening on her face.

In a picture posted on Facebook last week in honour of Skin Cancer Awareness Month, registered nurse Tawny Willoughby, 27, demonstrated what skin cancer treatment looks like — and just how bad the damage from tanning can get:

If anyone needs a little motivation to not lay in the tanning bed and sun here ya go! This is what skin cancer treatment...

Posted by Tawny Willoughby on Saturday, April 25, 2015

As she notes in the post, she was first diagnosed at 21, and has now had basal cell carcinoma five times, likely due to going to tanning beds in high school.

Willoughby's advice for prevention echoes that of other skin cancer survivors like Hugh Jackman — wear sunscreen, don't use tanning beds, and wear a hat when outside.

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