Skin cancer awareness has increased significantly in the last decade alone. Most people at least know that they should wear sunscreen every day. Doctors and skincare experts are educating people on the value of broad-spectrum sunscreen and staying out of the sun during peak daylight hours. There is even an increasing number of people getting skin cancer screenings each year. This is all good news. However, we just got a reminder that we need to keep talking about skin cancer if we wish to save lives.
Yes, it’s that Serious.
We don’t mean to dramatize the topic of skin cancer, but perhaps we need to be more intentional with our message if we want to make an impact. Here’s why we think that.
Recently, Dayanara Torres, famous for her stint as Miss Universe, revealed to a Spanish publication that she had been diagnosed with melanoma. Melanoma! If you’re not aware, and we hope you are, melanoma is a serious form of skin cancer that is responsible for thousands of deaths (over 7,000 melanoma deaths are expected this year). There are details to her story that we want you to know.
Prior to Torres receiving this diagnosis, she had been aware that a growth had developed behind her knee. She recognized that the surface of the growth was not normal. But there were no obvious signs that the growth might be cancer, let alone melanoma. Torres revealed in her interview that her fiancé had repeatedly asked her to have the mole examined. Her skin cancer check only happened because he finally scheduled the appointment.
What Torres’ doctor found was an enormous surprise to the beauty queen. After a biopsy, she learned she had melanoma. After further testing, she learned that the melanoma had spread to two lymph nodes and that surgery would be necessary to remove all areas of cancer. The surprise? Torres had no idea that cancer could spread throughout her body from one little growth. Thankfully, her lack of awareness did not make her part of a morbid statistic.
Let’s talk about skin cancer face to face. Learn more about your skin by scheduling a skin cancer screening in our Westport dermatology office. Call (203) 226-3600 to schedule your visit.