Skin Cancer on an Overcast Day

by Carole
(Surrey, B.C., Canada)

My Husband and I were on a cruise around New England and Nova Scotia. One of the days was quite overcast but pleasant so we decided to read a book around the pool.

I fell asleep and when I awoke I had a nasty sunburn on my legs. When we got home from the trip and the burn healed I noticed a very itchy red spot on my left shin. This spot did not want to heal and started to blister, leak and bleed.

Finally I went to the Doctor who then did a biopsy. The result was Squamous Cell Carcinoma (A form of skin cancer). I ended up going to a specialist to have it removed by Mohs Skin Cancer Surgery. This is where they keep removing layers and checking to see if the layer still contained cancer cells. Once they feel that it has been totally removed they stop removing layers of skin.

Before the surgery, the spot was probably the size of a dime. After the surgery, I had a chunk removed from my leg at least 5x the size of a quarter. This was in was in 2006, six years ago.

I still have a nasty scar on my shin. I could have had plastic surgery, but, I want a reminder of how easy it is to get skin cancer. I also show the scare to friends who think tanning is safe.

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