Interview with melanoma warrior: Candice

Candice is a mother of three sons, the founder of the Desert Camo Apparel and has been studying cancer as a microbiologist for more than 15 years. And she also survived melanoma with brain metastases.
Even as a little girl, Candice dreamed of becoming a scientist, and after graduating from high school, she studied in college as a chemist and microbiologist. For more than 15 years, she has been studying cancer cells daily, isolate the DNA and we look at the genes and stuff behind them. And what a shock it was to find out that the mole on her face turned out to be the cancer she was studying.

"So, when I got the call from a plastic surgeon, who removed the mole on my nose and I was in the middle of sequencing and he said, I'm so sorry, but you have, at the time it was stage one melanoma, but it was point nine millimeters and if you round up, that's one and that made me a candidate for surgery. So, I had a sentinel lymph node biopsy, and they removed four lymph nodes, and the one here had micro-metastasis or I like to say they found one cancer cell. So, that prompted me to start immunotherapy. Then you know, all my scans were clean, and then it came back in 2019 with metastasis to my brain, lung, spleen, and pelvic wall".

According to statistics, in any of the major dermatology centers, more than two people die every hour from skin cancer in the United States. According to our heroine, this trend is growing because many of the melanomas remain undiagnosed or people just think that this will not happen to them.

"So, when I was sitting in a chair and receiving immunotherapy, I got worried. So, I needed something to take my mind off all these tests and scans. You know, I didn't want my thoughts to wander in unpleasant places. So, I decided that I live here in Arizona, in a very sunny state. We have a lot of deserts in the desert. So, sitting in a chair, I decided that I would start my own UPF 50+ clothing issue. My opinion about it is this: you know, we have a unique environment, this desert, and usually when people wear UPF 50+ clothes, it's not inspired by the water element or something like that, but we don't have access to the sea. So I decided to try and do a few things in the desert"(The heroine lives in Arizona).

With the help of her clothing line, Candice is trying to make the sun safe, fun and fashionable. Our heroine believes that the best way to protect yourself is just to cover up, and then a person will not have to worry about the policy of sunscreens, chemicals and the like.

We talked a little more with Candice about her clothing line, and also found out what is meant by "prick" in her Instagram slogan. Finally, I asked for advice to readers - how to protect yourself from skin cancer.

"So, always, it doesn't matter if you're 10 years old, five years old, you know, 100 years old, get a skin check every year and then if you're diagnosed with a type of skin cancer, it's up to your dermatologist when you come back. I have to go well, I used to go every four to six months, but now I just got the green light to go every year. So, that's kind of scary, but good at the same time. Cover up, because to me, my personal opinion that's your best protection against the UV rays, sunscreen that's mineral based and 30 SPF or higher. Stay out of the sun between 10a.m and 4p.m and just seek shape".
The interview was conducted by Karina Kibo, COO Artes Electronics
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