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Skin Cancer Facts From One Who Knows

Posted by JoElla Milan on 3/19/2017 to Skin Health
Skin Cancer Facts From One Who Knows
Skin Cancer, we all hear about it, but do not think it will happen to us.  Especially when you are younger.  I know I was always warned when I was young, but I really did not care.  I wanted to look good. I loved having a tan. Both my parents were extremely fair, and at that time, I thought a tan was the better option.

Did you know skin cancer is caused by the sun when you were younger.  It will start showing up when you are around 40.  Gives you something to look forward to.  Especially if you have lots of moles. That makes you even more vulnerable.

 I know when I was in my 40's I had a black mole on my right shoulder.  I was so worried about the scar. I went to a plastic surgeon to remove it.  When I asked about the biopsy, I could tell by his reaction that he did not do one.  His goal was for me to have no scar.   Fast forward 10 or 15 years.  I had a black mole on my right shoulder.  I had it for a long time and did not think much or it.  Then people started commenting on it.  Finally I went to the Dermatologist. It was In- Situ Melanoma  (Not yet gone into the deeper layers)  I have a huge scar now, where it was removed.  It looks like someone hit a golf ball in my back.  I was lucky to find it early.  The interesting thing here is that this Mole was where the Plastic Surgeon operated years before.  He did not get it all.  If he would have done a biopsy he would have caught it.

Most skin cancer does not look like those pictures we all see of the horrible red or black inflamed moles.  It can be subtle.  Even the size of a pin head.  One of the most popular spots is below the knee and on the feet. Watch for changes in a new mole or freckle.

I have had so many pre-cancer spots removed from my back.  I have not been in the sun for over 30 years.  I cover up when I go out in the sun and wear sunscreen.   In my case, my mother had very white skin, but lots of moles, which I inherited.  You need to keep an eye on them.

If your doctor wants to remove a mole or freckle that looks like potential cancer, get rid of it. Don't worry about the scar.  They fade in time.  If you are preventative, you will save your life.  I just had a squamous cell removed from my left ankle. Squamous cell carcinomas typically appear as persistent, thick, rough, scaly patches that can bleed if bumped, scratched or scraped. That is what mine was. See picture above.  I was happy I am an Esthetician or I may not have noticed it.  No matter what product I used on it, would not help.  Finally I went to the doctor, and they called me back immediately to come and have it removed.  Now I have a 2 inch scar, but I don't care.  I am just happy to catch it early.  Where sunscreen 24/7