Melissa’s personal story
Right before my 30th birthday I discovered a mole on my abdomen that had changed color. It actually woke me up one night because it was itchy as well. My mother was working for a dermatologist, so I immediately went in to the office and had it biopsied. It turned out that I had melanoma.
As a child I had several bad sunburns. As a teenager I used to go tanning to try to prevent getting an initial sunburn, not realizing the damage I was doing to myself.
I was very lucky that I found the melanoma at stage I and only needed a wide excision and no further treatment. I have had numerous dysplasic nevi removed since then. However, I am so thankful that I have been cancer-free for 10 years!
I go every three months to my dermatologist for checkups and I am vigilant about being careful in the sun, not only for myself but for my family, especially my 7-year-old son.