Yesterday I went for my annual skin cancer screening.
Have you had yours this year?
I have long been an advocate for getting yearly skin cancer screenings. With a tragic history of melanoma in my family, I make it a point once a year to get a full body scan at the dermatologist. I have pretty fair skin with lots of moles, birth marks and freckles covering my arms and back. I also have some on my chest, in my scalp and even in between my toes.
Making (and keeping!) this appointment was such a simple thing to do. The entire visit literally took about 15 minutes. The doctor examined me from head to toe, including my scalp, the backs of my legs and bottoms of my feet...places that I might not think to check myself or might not realize if something awry was there. She measured various marks and keeps a chart of anything to watch so that next year, she can determine if it's grown or changed in color.
I had a few questions about some freckles that I've noticed have gotten darker over the last months. Luckily, she told me that in my case, pregnancy is the cause of this.* But whew! It was great to hear that in person and know that I had nothing to worry about this year!
I have always been extremely careful about my skin and sun exposure. In fact, I often get a little made fun of for the fact that I show up on the beach as the pastiest person there, that I don't sit in the sun or that it takes me 45 minutes to put on sunscreen. Even after a week in Aruba, I rarely come home with a tan. When I'm out of the water, I spend my days under a palapa...and when I'm in the water? I stay with most of my body covered in the water and I always wear a hat.
Sadly, I've read so many stories of young people (younger than me) finding out that a freckle or mole has turned into skin cancer. In my opinion, the best defense is a good offense! Getting checked out once a year will not only catch anything that might seem off, but also brings incredible peace of mind. Some other great blogs have also addressed the importance of this (and been affected by it first hand) and I highly recommend checking them out:
So in short...Please please please go get checked out!
But seriously...do it!
I hope you all have a great hump day! It's sunny and beautiful over here after a night of crazy storms! Happy Wednesday!
*Note: I am not a doctor nor do I play one on TV. This is my own story of my own appointment and doctor's diagnosis. Please consult your doctor at your very own screening to get anything questionable checked out!!!!