Raising Awareness about Skin Cancer

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By Elspeth Mizner

The start of Spring may have you thinking about getting some rays, but have you remembered to book your yearly skin check-up?

Local experts said it’s crucial to make sure you are getting an annual skin check done, they said it could make all the difference for early detection for skin cancer.

When a pimple on her chest wouldn’t go away, Devon Meddock, a Warren county native decided to make an appointment with her dermatologist, where they discovered it was much more than a pimple. “But I had this gut feeling that there was something abnormal about it and I’m glad I did, because when they sent it out for a biopsy, it came back to be this this rare skin cancer”, said Meddock.

Doctors moved fast, it was only over a week between Meddock’s initial diagnosis to her surgery. As Meddock explained, “So I had about the size of a baseball taken out of my chest, mostly my left breast on Thursday, just to just to make sure it’s gone, just to get it all out. ”

Local Dermatology Certified Registered Nurse Practitioner Lauren Senita said this is a good reminder for people to get their annual skin checks. “So early detection is always good. We recommend doing a self skin check once a month, being on top of things yourself and you always have to take a proactive role. You know, sometimes we see patients once a year, but it’s good for them to always be aware of what they have in check and things once a month”

While the warmer weather may have people flocking to the outdoors Senita said that it’s a good reminder for people to get their skin checked.

Senita said while it may be tempting, avoid tanning salons and booths as they could contribute to a skin cancer diagnosis. “Tanning or baking in the sun, tanning salons aren’t always the greatest thing. You go into the tanning beds because that does increase your risk that way. Even some of the chemical, you know, tanning things that you do aren’t the greatest as far as that goes for the skin”, said Senita

While Meddock’s surgery was successful, she still has a long road ahead, “The issue with this type of cancer is that it has a very high recurrence rate with like 70%, which is why they have to take out so much area.”

Meddock said she will have continued skin check-ups every six months to make sure this form of cancer doesn’t return for the rest of her life.


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