Caitlin’s personal story
I went for my first skin check with Dr. Hale when I was about 15 or 16. I am fair skinned, with red hair and freckles, and spent pretty much all of my summers as a kid at the beach or somewhere outside. My mom was always very vigilant with putting sunscreen on me (and reapplying). I was the kid who looked like a ghost because I had so much of it on. I had gotten a few sun burns growing up, but nothing too severe.
When I was 19 (2005), Dr. Hale found my first melanoma—it was a Stage 1 on my back. Between 2005-2007, I had multiple dysplastic nevi excised from various places on my body. In 2007, when I was 21, I was diagnosed with three melanomas all on my abdomen. The crazy part was that they all were diagnosed within three months (April, May & June).
I am now 32 years old, and since 2007 I have not had any more melanomas, but I have gotten a lot of my moles excised and/or biopsied that mostly come back atypical, but not cancerous. I use sunscreen every day, take proper precautions including sun protective clothing when needed, and I see Dr. Hale every two to three months for a body check. She knows my body and my moles better than I do, I am very lucky to have her as my doctor.