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A Woman With Skin Cancer Posted A Graphic Selfie To Warn Against Tanning

Tawny Willoughby, a 27-year-old from Alabama, shared a picture on Facebook showing what skin cancer treatment can potentially look like. The picture has since been shared by nearly 50,000 people. WARNING: Some may find the image disturbing.

Tawny Willoughby is 27 years old, and was first diagnosed with skin cancer when she was 21.

Willoughby, a registered nurse in Alabama, says she has been diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma five times, and squamous cell carcinoma once. She wrote on Facebook that she goes to the dermatologist every 6 to 12 months, and she usually has a skin cancer removed at each checkup.

Back in April, Willoughby was undergoing a round of skin cancer treatment and shared this selfie on Facebook to warn people about the dangers of tanning beds.


Willoughby writes that she has received numerous treatments for her multiple cancers: a cream called Aldara (imiquimod) is what caused the scabbing in her picture; she's also had curettage and electrodessication; cryosurgery; surgical excision; and photodynamic therapy.

She writes: "If anyone needs a little motivation to not lay in the tanning bed and sun here ya go! This is what skin cancer treatment can look like."

Her picture has now been shared almost 50,000 times. After the picture began to gain in popularity, someone reported it to Facebook for containing graphic violence. But in spite of the complaints, it hasn't been removed.


Here are some tips to help you stay safe and healthy when it comes to skin cancer:

BuzzFeed Life reached out to Willoughby for comment.