Today is June 4th. Melanoma awareness month ended 4 days ago. Yet, everyday for me represents melanoma awareness. You see, I am a stage IV melanoma survivor. In 2011, my life expectancy was very short. With a 16 cm tumor wrapped around my brachial plexus nerve in my left armpit, lesions in my lungs, and lesions in my sacrum.... I was dying. In 2011 there were few choices for people in my position.
You may be thinking, isn't it just skin cancer? Can't you just cut it out?
This is the myth.
OK, you can cut it out, but one who does must ALWAYS BE VIGILANT against the BEAST. Melanoma is one the fastest metastasizing cancer there is with a very low rate of survival for those who are diagnosed.
Some of the worst myths out there are that UV rays do not cause melanoma. Evidence shows us that exposure to tanning beds and or extreme sunburns can damage your skin and once your skin is damaged at a molecular level, you can develop melanoma. Researchers are doing their best to determine genetic risk factors for melanoma. In my family, my mother had a stage I melanoma, I had stage IV, my cousin had a stage I melanoma, and my daughter had a precancerous mole removed already! SO we definitely possess some predisposition to melanoma.
The bottom line: melanoma is more than something you can cut out, and melanoma is more dangerous than people think.
That is why I planning the 2nd annual AIM @ Melanoma Walk for a Cure in Laguna Niguel, CA. This event raises money for research that is finding a way to CURE melanoma! Please check out the link below and come say hello, I will be there!
AIM @ Melanoma