Mom with skin cancer chastises her 16-year-old self for tanning: 'It's so not worth it'

With a long future of skin cancer checkups ahead of her, one mom is chastising her younger self for spending every day in a tanning bed.

Mallory Lubbock shared photos from her first skin cancer removal to warn people of the life-long risks.

(Mallory Lubbock)

“So, today I got my first cancerous spot removed,” Lubbock wrote on Facebook. “I now get to go back for suture removal/wound check, an appointment to get my WHOLE body checked out, VERY routine check ups for a long while and then routine check ups for life and almost 100% certainly many more painful a– appointments of getting skin cancer taken off my body.”

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The mom of two swears to teach her daughter to take better care of her body.

“Damn it 16-year-old Mallory that went tanning every single day for 2 years,” she said. “I will try like hell to make sure my daughter will not be laying in a single tanning bed while she is under my roof and I hope her just hearing about and seeing Mama go through this will be enough.”

Lubbock adds to PEOPLE that her younger self was aware of the risks.

“I knew the warnings. I knew the possibility of skin cancer was there,” she says. “But when you’re 16, you’re naive. You don’t think something like that will happen to you!”

In her Facebook post, Lubbock added an impassioned plea to others to protect their kids.

“You guys. Get your daughters out of tanning beds. Get your 16-year-old sister out of them. Hell, get out of them yourselves! It’s so not worth it,” she wrote. “Is tan skin REALLY worth it? This s— will scar and this s— HURT. I am now the mom at the beach with the umbrella and my SPF 100 HEAVILY applied. Never ever ever did I think this would happen to me (who does?).”

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Her post quickly filled up with hundreds of comments from people with their own encounters with skin cancer, and photos of the scars that remain.

“So many people have come forward and so many pics and stories are circulating, it’s crazy!” she told PEOPLE. “I’m so glad it has inspired others to share their stories. It’s so important for people to realize how many people suffer with this, and that it can happen to them!”

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