We get our mammograms (don’t you?), do our routine self breast exams, have our annual physicals but do you check your skin regularly for potential problems? I was never one to lay out in the sun but yet skin cancer seems to be in my genes and not much I can do to avoid it . . just watch for it and have it taken care of when I find it. So far, everything has been basal cell and that’s very curable and rarely, if ever, spreads to bones, organs, etc.
But, here’s a story to remind you to listen to your own little inner voice.
Probably in the middle 80’s, I had a spot on my face. It looked like a little pinhead size spot, kinda clear, not raised, rough or red but it didn’t look right. I went to a dermatologist in Lake Charles, LA where we were living. He told me it was nothing . . something about a clogged pore or something. In 1989 or 1990, we were living in TX and I still didn’t feel like it was right. It hadn’t grown or done anything but I had to take Chad to a dermatologist in Lufkin, TX and I had him look at it. Same thing . . don’t worry about it.
In 1999 or 2000, I had to have a mole removed and saw a dermatologist in Evansville, IN. Had him look at the spot on my face. Nope, nothing. Don’t worry about it.
In 2002, I had to see a dermatologist again and I was able to see one in Owensboro, KY. He said “hmmm, not sure about that so let’s do a biopsy”. It was basal cell and it had grown. He removed it and I ended up having to have 25 stitches in my face. I’ll always believe that if one of those first three dermatologists had taken the time to biopsy this spot, I would have had a minor surgical procedure with a few stitches and this would have been history.
We really have to trust our instincts and if a doctor gives us an opinion you’re not quite sure about, keep on! See someone else. Get to the bottom of it.
Today I had two more basal cell spots removed. One on my shoulder and one on my nose. The one on my nose will require further surgery but it will still be minor, and the doctor thinks he got everything today for the spot on my shoulder. I’m very thankful I never spent much time in the sun!