Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Learn Your A,B,C,D & E's

May is National Melanoma & Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month. I felt like I should do a post about knowing your A,B,C,D & E's... that is Asymmetry, Border, Color, Diameter and Evolving. These are the things everyone should be checking when looking for changes in their skin. If you notice any moles or spots on your skin that have any of these characteristics, you need to make an appointment with your dermatologist. You can read more information here as well as see pictures.

Last month, one of my resolutions was to make a dermatologist appointment. I had several spots and a few asymmetrical freckles that I wanted to get checked out. I had my appointment on Monday. I was actually expecting everything to be fine. I thought maybe the doctor would tell me to keep an eye on a few spots. What I wasn't expecting, was to have any spots that concerned him so much that they had to be removed. But there were.

I had two spots on my back removed and sent to pathology. I know that the odds are in my favor that these will be benign, but every so often the thought creeps into my head... what if they are not? I'll know in 10 days. Of course I wish the nurse hadn't specifically told me that I'll get a letter in the mail if they are benign, but they will call if not. So, basically, if the phone rings and I can see that it's the doctor's office, I'll completely panic and think I have skin cancer. I would have rather just been pleasantly surprised with a letter in the mail!

I'm definitely more aware now of my sun exposure, and making sure I'm always wearing sunscreen when I'm outside. Of course, I'd like to be nice and tan for my brother's wedding in September, but I might just be getting my first spray tan instead!

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