WEST JORDAN — Utah Gov. Gary Herbert announced Wednesday during a groundbreaking ceremony for a new elementary school that he has been undergoing treatment for skin cancer.
He said doctors believe they got it all.
"The belief is they got everything. I think that's what happened here," he said.
The cancer was discovered a month ago, prompting surgery. This week, Herbert was sporting a bandage under his right eye because of an infection in the wound.
Herbert said he has had skin cancer twice before and has regular visits with a dermatologist due to "youthful inexperience."
He said back in the day, suntan lotion was known about, but sunscreen not so much.
"We've learned over time that (suntanning) is probably not a good idea," he said.
Herbert said he has squamous cell carcinoma, which is the second most common form of skin cancer. It's usually found on areas of the body damaged by ultraviolet rays from the sun or tanning beds and is slow growing.
Herbert mentioned cancer treatment as an example of being reactive. Proactive would have been using sunscreen in his youth, as he advised middle school students at Wednesday's groundbreaking.
"See this little thing here. See this bandage? … That's being reactive. I had some cancer taken out here. Proactive would have been when I was your age wearing sunscreen, so I would advise you all to wear sunscreen.
"Be smarter than some of us old people and you won't have to wear bandages on your face when they cut out the cancer," Herbert said.
Contributing: Amy Joi O'Donoghue