Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The sun is NOT my friend!

Last week I had 2 moles removed. One on my back and one on my lower leg. I unfortunately found out yesterday that the one on my leg was melanoma. Today I am going back to the doctor for them to remove more skin off my leg to make sure it is all gone and does not come back. You might be asking yourself, what is melanoma? How serious is it? Do I need to be checked? Thanks to the nice dermatologist I got sent home with a book called, "If you are concerned about melanoma." So I have all the answers for you.
First: What is melanoma? Melanoma is a type of skin cancer. (There are 3 types - basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and malignant melanoma. Basil cell is the most common in fair skinned persons, squamous cell is the second most common in fair skinned people, melanoma is more serious type of cancer than the other two. There are all different types of melanoma. I have superficial spreading melanoma, the most common type. This type travels along the top layer of the skin for quite some time before it spreads to deeper layers. (I knew a year ago I needed to have my mole checked out.) It usually looks like a flat or slightly raised discolored patch with irregular borders. It's colors can be black, blue, brown, tan, red or white. (Mine was flat, dark and very irregular, but small.) In women, they are most often located on the legs. But are also common on your upper back. (Where both of mine were.)
Second: How serious is it? Due to mine being in the upper layers of my epidermis it is not that serious. If I would have let it go, it could have spread to my lymphatic system. That is why the first thing the doctor said to me was, "Removing those moles could have saved your life."
Third: Should you be checked out? ABSOLUTELY!!! I know we all love to be tan, because fat looks better tanned. But this is the only skin you are going to get. Go to the dermatologist, if you need a recommendation I can give you one, be checked and wear sun screen!
All that to say, I go back today and get more removed off my leg - which I am NOT looking forward to! I have to go be checked every 4 months and get more moles removed. I am not going to lie, I was very scared yesterday. After talking to the doctor and reading my book I feel a little better. I just know that now I need to be extra careful!

1 comment:

Ferree Bowman Hardy said...

I'm so sorry you have this, but so glad you caught it! Your descriptions are very educational--sigh--I suppose I should start making the dermatologist a routine. Love to you, and hope it heals up easier than expected.