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Jeff Rossen's drive to help people avoid scams and hidden dangers as TODAY's national investigative correspondent comes from often having to navigate some of those difficult situations in his own life.
In his new book, "Rossen To the Rescue: Secrets to Avoiding Scams, Everyday Danger, and Major Catastrophes,'' which was released in stores and online Tuesday, he writes about the emotional and practical challenges he faced after revealing he was diagnosed with skin cancer.
"I've never spoken about this before, (and) sort of decided to handle it myself,'' Rossen told Matt Lauer on TODAY Tuesday. "I was diagnosed with melanoma. Scared me as a dad. I'm looking at my young kids, and you have cancer, and now you're a cancer survivor. You have to fight that on an emotional level."
His drive to find out more and help everyday people led the father of three to discover surprising facts about the effectiveness of certain sunscreens in a Rossen Report that aired on TODAY in 2012.
"My dermatologist said to me, you have to put on sunscreen, you have to protect yourself, so I went to the store and I'm paying all this extra money for SPF 100-plus, 110, and we did the investigation here that says anything over SPF 50 doesn't help you anyway,'' Rossen told Lauer.
Rossen also opened up about his mother's Stage 3 lung cancer in the book. She had surgery and has since recovered.
"I knew if I was going to write a book I had to go there and get real and get personal,'' he said. "So much of what drives the Rossen Reports and the stories I choose are from my own personal life because when I leave this building, just like you, I'm just a regular guy, a dad, a husband.
"No one's fighting for the little guy, so I wanted to."
Rossen also threw in some helpful tips on TODAY Tuesday about protecting your privacy from hackers by taping over the camera on your laptop and how to avoid mold in children's cups and bath toys.
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