What She Didn’t Know about Melanoma Could Have Cost Her Dearly
- Posted on: Mar 15 2019
Skin cancer is our business. For any dermatologist, the subject of skin cancer is relatively commonplace. For the average person, however, not so much. We don’t have to look very far to find evidence of the fact that awareness is something to be gained in the skin cancer arena. Here, we share why doctors and the general media must continue talking about skin cancer and its insidious ways.
In a recent interview with a Spanish publication, former Miss Universe Dayanara Torres brought up that she had been diagnosed with skin cancer. Not just any skin cancer; melanoma. Many people recognize this as the most serious and frightening form of skin cancer. Torres herself knew that much about the disease. However, she missed some clear signs that her body was in trouble. By the time she saw her dermatologist, cancer had spread from a single growth on her skin to two nearby lymph nodes, which were subsequently removed.
One of the aspects of her condition that surprised Torres the most was that her cancer had spread beyond its original starting point. She said in her interview that she had no idea that cancer could move from the skin to another body part.
Melanoma can. And it will. And it did in Torres’ case. When a melanoma growth is left untreated, as hers was, cancer cells spread. First to the lymph nodes, then to the blood, then virtually anywhere in the body the blood takes them. Melanoma cells have been found in the eyes, the brain, and in other organs. This extent of metastasis can be fatal.
What She Did Know
When retelling her experience, Torres admitted that she knew of the growth on the back of her knee. It was a new growth and it looked somewhat odd. Her fiancé had asked her numerous times to have the growth checked but she continually procrastinated, perhaps ignoring what she knew were warning signs. She recognized the growth as new. She noticed that its surface wasn’t consistent with other moles on her body. She was aware of the common signs of skin cancer.
What You Need to Know
You may realize that skin cancer is a serious threat to your health. You may know that a new growth could indicate squamous cell or basal cell carcinoma, or even melanoma. But you may have loose parameters that signify cancer. Maybe you only look at large growths as potentially serious. Maybe any old growth that changes goes without notice. Maybe, even though you know that there is an inherent risk for skin cancer, you’ve simply never taken steps to check your skin.
Let’s change that
One of the best ways to protect your skin and your health is to undergo a routine skin cancer screening. What better time to do this than now, before summer? Who better to assess your skin than a board-certified, Mohs trained dermatologist?
The American Society for Mohs Surgery promotes ongoing education and awareness amongst our members. Our surgeon locator can help you find a doctor near you who can perform your skin cancer screening and, if need be, comprehensive treatment for skin cancer. Click hear for more information.
Posted in: Skin Cancer