It's not too early for sunscreen.

Here in Philly the weather has been hot the last few days so we have been hitting the zoo and parks. One might think that since it's only April, you do not sunscreen....but you are wrong. Take it from me, I just learned I have melanoma.

So about four years ago I started to get a light freckle on my forehead. It really wasn't that noticable so I did not think much of it. I usually wear sunsreen being that I am fair skinned, blonde, and moley. Over time the freckle seemed to get darker and darker. About a year ago my family doctor recommended that I start seeing a dermatologist once a year to do a skin check.

So I did the routine check and at my first visit the Dr. wanted to scrape a mole on my stomache. It came back as an atypical (dysplastic) mole. Basically it means you are at risk for melanoma but it is not cancerous. The doctor also took a picture of the mole on my forehead so we could keep an eye on it, with me returning every few months.

A few weeks ago I went for my follow-up visit and we both decided it was time to take the mole off. I was sent to a plastic surgeon and the biopsy was performed down at Penn...It came back as malignant melanoma. Fortunately we caught it early as it is only .52 mm thick and in stage 1. To make sure the cancer did not spread, the doctors did want me to go in for surgery again, down at Penn this time, to have more skin removed...ensure clear margins.

So that brings me to today...I am bruised and looking silly but very glad I took the mole out when I did. Let this be a lesson to all of you :-)

(And hopefully next week I will get back to my recipes from BJ's) So stay tuned.

1 comment:

Mel said...

I have been contemplating going to a dermatologist to start routine check up since I spend alot of time in the sun. After hearing about your experience I'm convinced I need to do it sooner than later. Thanks for the kick in the butt I needed. Sorry you had to go through so much though!! I hope you are feeling better. Thank you for teaching me through your experience though!