F Simple and Serene Living: uh oh 09 10
Saturday, September 13, 2014

uh oh

Back in July, I had a bit of an uh oh. I had a small place on my leg that had begun to change. It had started to itch, had grown a little, and had become irregular in shape. Time to take action.


So I called a dermatologist and was able to get in quickly. Hmmm, may be something, may be nothing, but we better take it off. Taking it off involved making a hole in my leg. Hmmmm!!! 

A few days later I got the call. It was a squamous cell carcinoma, but they got it all. Whew!!! Now that I have had skin cancer, I will have to have a full body check every six months and watch for any signs in between checkups.


According to WHO, The World Health Organization, the incidence of both non-melanoma and melanoma skin cancers has been increasing. Current statistics say that 1 in 5 people will develop skin cancer in their lifetime. 

Although anyone can get skin cancer, it is more prevalent in Caucasians, due to a lack of skin pigmentation. 

Some individual risk factors for skin cancer

  • fair skin
  • blue, green or hazel eyes
  • light-coloured hair
  • tendency to burn rather than suntan
  • history of severe sunburns
  • many moles
  • freckles
  • a family history of skin cancer
I have all of these risk factors except the many moles. I have only a few of those. 


It is important to note, that excessive sun exposure can damage all skin types, and although we look at a tan as being cosmetically pleasing, there is nothing healthy about a tan. 

Some of the things you can do are: 

  • stay out of the sun during the hottest part of the day. This even applies during winter, when the sun can reflect off of the snow. 
  • watch for the UV index
  • use shade wisely
  • wear protective clothing
  • use sunscreen (I know there is controversy now over sunscreen so if you feel that this not something you want to do, you can follow the other guidelines)
  • avoid sunlamps and tanning parlors
As we head out of summer and into fall, we are leaving the most dangerous time of year for sun exposure. So, this is a good time to check yourself for any skin irregularities and to make an appointment with a dermatologist for a full body check.

I am grateful that I found mine early and that it was not a melanoma, and even though I have pretty much stayed out of the sun for quite awhile, I know that I had some pretty bad exposure growing up. So I will definitely stay on top of it.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend.




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27 comments:

  1. glad you had it taken care of, and that they feel they got it all!

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    1. Yep, it was early stage and the borders were clean :)

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  2. Laura, glad you caught it early. I 'fried' my skin in my youth and so I have had a whole body check but it's time for another one I'm sure. Good reminders for all!
    hugs,
    Linda

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    1. Thanks, Linda. Amazing how much frying we did. Always good idea to go back for another check. :)

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  3. Laura, that is a terrible scare and I'm glad you were vigilant and caught it in good time. My brother, who's 63, has Malignant Melanoma Cancer that has spread to his internal organs. He was diagnosed in June and is very very ill. He had it in 1993 but only on the surface and had the offending mole plus lymph nodes removed, however, this time the cancer spread from other malignant moles and wasn't caught in time even though he was hounding his doctor for almost a year!! He's had 4 rounds of Immunotherapy, which is very intensive and expensive but he's so weak and nauseous that he's failed a lot. If this treatment has worked he should be noticing some improvement in the next month. He has all the risk factors as do his children. We are praying God will heal him. Thank you for sharing your story. It's so important to be skin aware no matter how old we are. Blessings to you, Laura. Hugs. Pam

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    1. Pam, I am so sorry for your brother. He is my age. What a terrible disease. My closest cousin died from Melanoma five years ago. Hers was also a reoccurrence from nineteen years previously. My prayers are with your brother. xo

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  4. I'm so glad that you were able to get that removed before it turned into something worse. That's so scary! I have many of those risk factors too. I avoid sunbathing as a result.

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    1. Thanks, Kelly. Important to know when something changes in our bodies.

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  5. I remember when you were going through this. I've never had skin cancer. I had a lot of exposure as a teen (remember when we slathered baby oil all over ourselves and cooked in the sun?) and as a young adult. My first husband loved for me to be tan, so he paid for the tanning salons. I had many burns. I've never worn sun screen. I don't know my family history at all. So I guess it looks as though I've thrown all caution to the wind. If I found a place on my skin, as you did, I would of course have it checked out. I haven't had a sunburn in a very long time. I don't tend to burn. But this makes me more cognizant of this, Laura.
    Brenda

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    1. I definitely remember the slathering of baby oil and heading out into the sun. Wish I knew then what I knew now. Even though you may not have all the risk factors, it is important to be aware of any changes :)

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  6. Hi Laura,
    So glad you got that area looked at and taken out. Skin cancer actually starts in our teens and it can stay dormant until we age. So happy you are going in and having yourself checked every 6 months. So happy you are aware of your body and could see this was not right. Happy to hear it all turned out well. I am blonde, fair and have lots of freckles so I have to watch the sun too even though I am a summer girl and love the sun. Have a great week end.
    Kris

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    1. Thanks, Kris. I love the summer, too. We definitely have to be aware of our exposure, though. Enjoy the rest of your weekend, too :)

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  7. So glad you are ok! I had a strange irregular changing mole removed in my twenties, luckily it was not cancer but better to be sure. Like you l have had some nasty sunburns growing up. Pam xx

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    1. Definitely better to be on the safe side. They took off another mole, but it was not cancerous. xo

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  8. I have had skin cancer twice, already. Several sunburns growing up, when sunscreen wasn't even hear of!

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    1. Now that so much more is known about sun exposure and skin cancer, I hope that parents will take appropriate precautions with their children.

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  9. You are a smart girl...I'm glad you are going to be fine and thanks for passing these tips on!

    Jane xxx

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  10. Glad you caught it early. I had a basal cell cancer several years ago that I had to have taken out, too. I have all the indicators for having it that you can have -from the green eyes to the family history. Great! I have to go in for another scan soon, too. xo Diana

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    1. Yes, for those of us who have all of those indicators, it is double important to keep on top of it. :)

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  11. Oh..I am so happy that they got it all. I remember back in my teens my mom would drop off us at the beach for most of the day during the the summer. fortunately I have never detected anything with my checks at the doctor but am vigilant about looking. thanks for the tips and reminder for everyone , young and old.

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    1. You're welcome, Laura. Glad that you are staying on top of it. :)

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  12. So thankful that you caught it early, Laura!
    We excise BCC and SCC almost each and every day in our office and in the operating room. Lot's on the nose on folks between 55 to 70. Hats are a must and don't forget sunglasses for eye health!
    ~Lynne
    w/L

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    1. Thanks for the added tips, Lynne. I always wear sunglasses and when I am at the beach I put on a hat. I'm amazed that I don't have any on my face, yet as I had a terrible blistering sunburn on it as a teen.

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  13. I have all the criteria and I'm checked every two years. I'm glad they were able to get all the mean things out for you!

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    1. Thanks, Magali. I'm happy to know you have yourself checked every two years :)

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