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Lisa’s personal story

Lisa Yuengling
I always loved being tan. I loved the "glow" and the instant beauty I felt as my skin was bronzed. From the age of 14 to my late 20s, I was an active tanner. All my friends in high school were tanning—it was the thing to do. In the 1990s, you were cool if you tanned. My girlfriends and I would compete to see who could get the darkest bikini lines for the day. And if we didn't get enough color for the day, we would go to the tanning booth on the way home from the beach. It was insane.

In 2011, as I was "laying out," I received a call from my dermatologist that a certain spot that he had biopsied on my stomach came back as a dysplastic nevi. I was a nervous wreck, but was so happy it wasn't the "C" word. A year later, I had another dysplastic nevi removed. Wake-up call, sunblock always, and no more tanning booths.

Unfortunately, the damage was done. In December 2017, I got the dreaded call that an angry pimple on the right side of my cheek touching my nose was in fact basal cell. As I was waiting to schedule Mohs surgery in the next month or two, I again noticed an angry pimple on the left side of my nose. Three weeks after recovering from my Mohs, I learned that indeed I had basal cell on the other side of my face.

I felt like my world was crashing. "How could it be? I am only 41 years old." I was told that I must see the doctor now every three to six months because "I grow things."

Even a skin cancer that is "just" basal cell carcinoma is an ordeal, and going through Mohs surgery is nobody's idea of a party. The experience changed the appearance of my face and opened my eyes to the reality of basal cell carcinoma. As my face continues to heal and slowly get better, I'll look over my shoulder the rest of my life for the skin cancer that could be gaining on me. For now, what is important is that the cancer is gone.

Lisa had a suspicious spot detected at a SPOT me® skin cancer screening. Find a free screening near you.