May is skin cancer detection and prevention month. By the same token, skin cancer is an important topic for me as I share my story with you.

Skin Cancer Detection

So, a few years ago I noticed a tiny brown spot. For anyone who knows me is aware that I tend to go to the Doctors for the smallest thing. Of course, this was one of those instances. In the first place, I was told that this spot wasn’t cancerous. But, I was also told to keep a close watch on it.

Of course, I stayed on top of this during yearly doctors appointments. After having a year-end appointment with my Dermatologist, we once again discussed this spot. Because she thought the color changed, she suggested a biopsy.

For fear that something wasn’t right, I anxiously awaited my Doctor’s telephone call. When I received a phone call less than a week later telling me I needed surgery, that was a scare for me. Above all, I was anxious and wanted to get this taken care of right away.

Skin Cancer Surgery

So, off I went to have the surgery.

When I went back approximately a week later to have the stitches taken out, I was told it was an atypical mole.  I breathed with a sigh of relief. Well, then came New Years and imagine my surprise when I received a telephone call a couple of days after. I was informed there were cancer cells and I had to have additional surgery as soon as possible.

With this in mind, I immediately conducted research for the best Surgeon for me to work with. Based on the Mass General Hospital’s recommendation, I met with an Oncology Surgeon out of Mass Eye and Ear.  After meeting with the Surgeon, he recommended that the surgery be conducted in a two-part procedure.

Because I took this Surgeon’s advice, I had the surgery and the margins all came back clear. Although the surgery is behind me, I am now following up every three months with my Dermatologist.

Recommendations

Given that so many people have various spots on their body and face, I cannot emphasize the importance of getting a thorough body scan.

At the same time, wear sunscreen every time you leave your house. When you’re out in the sun, make sure you practice safe sun health tips.

Skin Cancer Tips

In the same way, make sure you take steps to protect your skin. Hence, the number one cause of skin cancer is ultraviolet rays from the sun. Also, make sure you protect your skin at all times. Moreover, use an SPF 30 or more on your skin when you go outside. To sum up, apply approximately 30 minutes before leaving your house. When you’re outdoors for long periods of time, reapply sunscreen and lotion.

Equally important is to know that even though you may not be out in the sun much, you could have a spot change color or size when you were an infant. How many parents didn’t put sunscreen on us when you were an infant?

In addition, make sure you protect your eyes. Wear sunglasses as ultraviolet rays can damage your eyes. Of course, skin cancer affects people of all ages and skin color.

In conclusion, make sure you check your skin often. As always, I look forward to your comments.