COVINGTON, La. -- May is skin cancer awareness month and one in five Americans will develop some form of skin cancer during his or her lifetime.
Long time Covington resident and Vietnam war veteran, James Thompson, says he's always loved outdoor activities like baseball and fishing.
However, he says after neglecting proper sun care as a young man, he was diagnosed with skin cancer.
"I noticed places on my skin starting to come up and it wouldn't heal, every time you turned around I had something pop up on my face," says Thompson.
Thompson was suffering from basal cell carcinoma, one of the most common forms of skin cancer that causes uncontrolled growths or lesions.
He says it effected his life at home and at his place of work.
"Some of the customers, when they came in, they thought I had been mugged because I had bandages all over my face," says Thompson.
After nine surgeries on his face, it was time for a change.
"After a while, I got tired of it, because it hurts having that many surgeries," says Thompson.
Thompson was prescribed a daily medication that helps stop the lesions from resurfacing, and he's healing up quite nicely.
Just last weekend, he was able to attend his grandson's graduation with no cancer spot in sight.
Now, he encourages everyone to love your skin and to protect it from the sun's harmful rays.
"Make sure, if you are going to be out in the sun for any length of time, you use sunscreen," says Thompson.