– Ben Martens

Check Yourself

skincheckmolesIt’s time for another Public Service Announcement post: go get your skin checked by a dermatologist. I’ve been going regularly and I just had my third chunk of skin cut out of my body. That doesn’t count many more pieces that were just scraped off and sent in for testing.

This latest piece was “severely abnormal.” On their scale it’s one small step before that terrible m word “melanoma”. Healing up after they take a 5cm by 1cm slice out of your shoulder and add 9 stitches isn’t pleasant, but it’s a lot better than some of the alternatives. I asked the doctor what would have happened if I hadn’t removed it and he said “Not many people volunteer for a study to see if they get cancer if we don’t do anything.” Maybe it would have been nothing or maybe it would have been cancer in a few months. While I’d rather not have the problem at all, I feel a lot better having it removed.

Even if you don’t want to commit to a regular skin check schedule, at least go in to find out what risk category you’re in and learn what you should be looking for.