A Nashville, Tennessee, woman who previously used tanning beds three times a week has released photos of the skin cancer that reportedly resulted from the unhealthy beauty habit.
Jade Thrasher, a 26-year-old nurse, explained the pressure that many face to be tan in her city.
"It is seen as unattractive to be pale where we live in Nashville," she said, according to The Daily Mail.
Although Thrasher was aware of the risks of skin cancer, especially as a nurse with fair skin, she continued to tan her skin for years.
Prior to her wedding, she increased her tanning schedule to six or seven times a week. After the wedding, she even bought her own tanning bed to use twice a week.
In the spring of 2014, Thrasher’s father noticed a mark on her face. In August 2014, the sore started to bleed. A few months later, she realized she had cancer as the sore did not heal.
"As a nurse, I pretty well knew it was cancer when I went in [to see the doctor]," she told WSMV News.
Doctors at Vanderbilt University Medical Center informed her that she could have had cancer for up to five years, The Daily Mail notes.
In January 2015, surgeons removed a section of her nose that was the size of a small coin. Later that day, doctors removed six inches of skin from her chest to replace the tissue from her nose.
"I want teenagers to see the photo of the hole in my nose so that they know what could happen," she explained, according to The Daily Mail. "When you're a teenager you think you're invincible. But I covered my face while using the sunbed and I still got cancer."
Since the cancer was caught at an early stage, Thrasher did not need radiotherapy or chemotherapy. She now receives full body checkups and never wants to use a tanning bed again.
"It was just relaxing to me," she told WSMV News of the tanning bed. "Now I walk in and look at it and it really makes me sick to my stomach to make me think, what have I done to myself?"
Thrasher considered selling her tanning bed, but she doesn’t want others to go through what she’s been through.
"I don't really care to sell it because that's not leading by example," Thrasher explained. "So it may go to a dump."