Cancer. It's a very scary illness. I recently had one friend pass away from brain cancer and another friend who is currently battling lymphoma. She is looking good and I'm so very proud of her! You never want to see anyone struggle from this disease. It's a bastard. I hate it.
Recently, I found myself praying for my own health. From a form of cancer most likely I would have given myself. Skin cancer.
Before I scare my readers or family... I don't have skin cancer. I am lucky. I went to my yearly check up with my regular MD and while we were doing blood work, I had him take a look at some moles. He looked up at me and said, "I don't like these. You need to make an appointment as soon as you can and have them removed." WOW. The next day I was at a dermatologist. I went in with 2 to be looked at and 4 were removed. The testing process went on about a week and then I called in. They said that 3 looked normal, but one had been sent out for another opinion. WHAT?! I started freaking out. Another few days passed and I called again. They had the results. The results came back abnormal. They said it was fairly common. The only thing I could say was, "IS IT CANCER?" Answer was no. But, something like this could quickly turn into cancer if it's not taken care of. I AM LUCKY. I was in time.
I went into the office this last Monday to have the skin surgery to remove more cells around the abnormal mole. As I was sitting there I started noticing more moles... REALLY?!!? I showed the doctor when he came in. Guess what? They need to be removed too. I found about 3 more. I'm having those removed and testing in 2 weeks when they remove the stitches. I also pray that those are normal. I'm currently going to the dermatologist every 4 months for skin checks.
Living in Southern California my whole life your constantly in the sun. And if you aren't in the sun your in the tanning salon trying to get that tan. When I started tanning in the tanning salon it was before all the information was released about cancer. There was information out there, but not like in the last 5 years. I baked myself for years. From 1998 till about 2007. Not kidding. I always was that tan, blonde, Southern California girl. However, I'm blonde, blue eyed, and most importantly I have fair skin. I wish I knew then what I know now. It's scary. Even though I haven't been in a tanning salon in years, and I haven't had a sunburn in years, this is from years of damage from my youth.
I urge you all to go and have your skin looked at yearly!
It's no joke. Let me drop some facts:
1. Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States.
2. 1 in 5 million develop skin cancer in their lifetime.
3. 1 person dies of Melanoma every hour.
4. Indoor ultraviolet (UV) tanners are 74% more likely to develop melanoma than those who have never tanned indoors.
There are so many more facts, but I thought I'd choose those. You can look more up on the websites below I posted for reference.
Skin cancer is caught early is treatable. Check your skin. Do you have more moles? Are they getting darker? Changing shape?
Skin Cancer ABCD:
A- Asymmetry: One half is different than the other half.
B- Boarder Irregularity: Edges are uneven.
C- Color: Color is uneven.
D- Diameter: Diameter is greater than 6mm.
I looked up the information on the following websites:
The Skin Cancer Foundation
Hope this blog post was informational, and not a downer.
Love and Cheers,