On this last day of Skin Cancer Awareness Month, I’m reminding myself and my readers to make every day a day in which you’re aware of any changes on your skin, no matter how small they seem to be. It is because I noticed an odd looking spot on my lower leg and had it examined immediately, that I caught my melanoma in its earliest stage. 

To help bring awareness to you, I’m spotlighting all of the information from my blog’s Skin Cancer tab in today’s post. In the following links you’ll find tips on how to safely run in the sun, what to expect on a full-body check, and general information about the various types of skin cancers and sunscreens.

From my skin cancer tab…

I know my way around a dermatology office…  With one melanoma and forty-eight basal cell carcinomas removed from my body, I feel like I should be able to hang a shingle over my gym door and offer skin cancer checks on the side. 

I have to admit that I am very aware of any exposed skin on my clients, and if I notice anything odd or different, I start in with a litany of questions.  “What’s that on your leg?  Have you noticed it before?  How long has it been there?  Do you mind if I take a closer look?”  And more than once, a client has left our session with orders from Dr. Deb to see a dermatologist. 

Hoping my readers can learn from my tanning mistakes, and become diligent about checking themselves for any unusual moles or changes to their skin, I periodically write about my experiences with skin cancer.

I’ve pulled all of my skin cancer posts into one tidy little spot just for you.  Please click on any of the blue links below if you would like to read the entire post…..

 

Tips For Running Safely In The Sun
As a long-distance runner, I’ve spent countless hours in the sun both during training runs and races.  Over the years I have made changes in my training to take care of my skin.  One of the biggest changes has been in running earlier.  Fortunately, I’m an early riser and enjoy bringing up the sun while on the running trail.

TipsForRunningSafelyInTheSunPoster
 

My Promise To My Dermatologist
Twice a year I visit my dermatologist… Well actually it’s usually four times a year because I almost always have to go back and get a basal cell removed after my doctor calls with my biopsy results. You see, I’ve had one melanoma and 43 basal cell carcinomas removed in the last 15 years.

DrHaSurgeryTray
 

This May, Please Learn From My Mistakes
Dear 16-year old me:  Lying out in the sun for an hour is stupid.  You’re a fair skinned girl and won’t get a golden tan.  What you will end up getting are 3-inch diameter blisters
everywhere your tiny bikini doesn’t cover; and you’ll be planting the seeds for a future melanoma.

Confessions Of A Tanning Goddess
It all started when I was about sixteen years old…  I wanted a beautiful golden tan instead of my pasty white skin.  I decided to take care of the problem one Sunday afternoon when I put on my bikini, grabbed a beach towel, a kitchen timer, and headed out into our back yard for a boring hour on my back.  One hour the first time out should be about right…

MuscleDebOnBeach
 

What To Expect At Your Full Body Check:  A Visit With Dr. Ha
Twice a year I see my dermatologist, Dr. Ha, for a full body skin and lymph check.  I’ve been seeing him since about 2000 after my mom suggested I have a dermatologist look at a flaky place over my lip.  It was pre-cancerous and he froze it off, but in the process of the examination Dr. Ha found a decent sized basal cell carcinoma on my back.  It was the first of many, and started my on-going relationship with my new doctor.

DrHaBiopsy
 

Connecting The Dots
Just for the heck of it, I put little red dots on this body map to represent where I’ve had some of my basal cell carcinomas and my melanoma removed.  In connecting the dots of how skin cancer happens, the sun damages the skin and causes the cells of the epidermis to mutate, divide, and multiply rapidly.  Those mutated cells can form several different types of tumors, or skin cancers.

SkinCancerPoster
 

That Odd Looking Spot Sure Doesn’t Look Like Melanoma
A flat brown spot showed up on my leg about ten years ago and I dismissed it as an early age spot.  The next time I saw my dermatologist, Dr. Ha, I had him take a look at it.  It seemed benign and he wasn’t concerned at the time.  It was light brown, flat, and appeared to only be a pigmentation change in my skin.

ShoesBeforeBoston(Melanoma)
MelanomaScar
 

 

  • Questions:
  • Have you had a full body check for skin cancer?
  • Do you have any spots you should get checked out?
  • Did you know that melanomas are most often found on men on their backs and on women on their lower legs? ~ My uncle who passed away from melanoma found his on his back, and mine was on my lower leg…

 

Happy Running! ~ Deb