Friday, February 1, 2013

Hey girl, hey


You hear that? That's the sound of one gorgeous male celebrity telling you to strip down and do your monthly skin cancer exam. If Ryan Gosling doesn't suit your fancy, here's another reason why you should become more familiar with your skin.

I found my melanoma.

Over the years, especially if you're using tanning beds or spending a lot of time in the sun, you can (and probably will) develop new moles, freckles, and sun spots. One of the signs a mole is potentially malignant is if it's changing shape or evolving. My cancerous mole appeared out of nowhere at some point when I was in college - I wasn't paying too much attention.

Eventually, I realized that having a mole appear out of nowhere could potentially be dangerous, so I went and got a skin exam at the dermatologist. Turns out, I made a very, very smart decision.

I'm not the only one who found my melanoma. Several other people I've met both online and in the "real world" have been the ones to notice something was abnormal, or changing and they made the life-saving decision to go see a doc.

So make a point of taking a careful look at your skin each month. I usually do it right before or after a shower. The American Academy of Dermatology provides some guidelines on doing a self-exam, but the most important advice I can give is know your own body. Abnormal to you may not be abnormal to someone else. Visit a dermatologist if you're unsure. Melanoma is scary, but it's much easier to treat if you catch it early.

19 comments:

  1. And make a doctor listen to you if they blow you off!!! Being your own advocate may save your life.

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  2. Posted about the SAME thing today!!! Uh..those darn new marks. Thanks for reminding everyone and love the Ryan pic ;)

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  3. Good for you! I am the one who found my husband's Melanoma. Two dermatologists insisted that it was nothing but I insisted that it had changed and I wanted them to biopsy it. One week later we got the diagnosis. They even knew that his sister died from Melanoma at his same age - 35 and still didn't want to take the mole seriously.

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  4. I found my melanoma too. I was in the car rider line waiting to pick up my son after school and I noticed a new, pink mole on my arm. It was like it had appeared out of thin air! It didn't look like a typical melanoma, but I am so glad that I listened to that nagging voice that kept telling me to make a dermatologist appointment to have that and all of my moles checked.

    Great post!

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