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Risk assessments

Posted by on July 14, 2016.

I’ve had a beard for over four decades.  Last time I shaved was 35 years ago.  Now I had to shave for a biopsy on my cheek.  I only had to shave the cheek, really, but Gloria never has seen me without a beard, so what the heck.Rob Shaved

In reality, I don’t like either the feel or the time wasted shaving. However, I can justify my beard on the basis of risk. Those who don’t shave have a (slightly) lower risk of skin cancer.

So it’s a bit ironic that I have to shave because of a biopsy on a skin tag. In reality, neither the doctor nor I think there is really any risk.  However, since the political reality is that “we didn’t think he was that sick” cuts no ice with grieving relatives, as usual medical practice errs on the side of caution.

Since it’s been 35 years since I last shaved, I cut myself, twice.  Which must increase the risk a bit.  (More irony: since I haven’t done it for a while, haven’t got the tools anymore, and was getting rid of a beard, it took me over an hour to shave.  The procedure to remove the skin tag must have taken all of six minutes.)

In the past, when I have shaved, I’ve had two reactions.  About half the people who me know don’t notice. The other half don’t recognize me. There doesn’t seem to be any middle ground. (My baby brother obviously falls into the latter category: he suggests I rob some banks while shaved, since, he feels, nobody will be able to identify me once I grow my beard back.)

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