The Annual Exam That Could Save Your Life

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The following post is sponsored by Genentech

Now that the weather is heating up, at the top of every woman’s health and wellness to-do lists should be an annual exam at the dermatologist for herself and family. 

Moms often spend so much time ensuring their children have sunscreen that they fail to take care of themselves. Cheryl Stratos, 50-year-old mom living with advanced skin cancer is a reminder of why you should take action now!

People who may have been exposed to the sun in the past, either by not wearing sunscreen or experiencing a sunburn at some point in their life, are at risk. In fact, a person’s risk for melanoma doubles if he or she has had more than five sunburns and half of all adults report at least one sunburn in the past 12 months.

If found early and treated, skin cancer is very likely to be cured; however many do not realize the serious consequences if left untreated. The disease can spread or grow deep under the skin’s surface into surrounding tissue or spread to other parts of the body. Sometimes skin cancer can cause lesions in areas such as the eyes, nose or ears, which may be disfiguring or lead to disfigurement if they need to be surgically removed. When it spreads to other parts of the body, skin cancer can be deadly. Cheryl’s story is an example of this.

In 2009, Cheryl started to feel winded and numb throughout her body. Shortly after she visited the doctor and took many tests, she was diagnosed with metastatic melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer. The cancer had spread from her skin to her lung and liver. The advertising executive didn’t let that slow her down and continued to search for treatments. Cheryl enrolled in a clinical trial in 2010 and this year marks the seventh year since she was diagnosed. Her support system is made up of her husband and 16 year old son, who love to ride horses together. Cheryl is so grateful she took action when she did and found a treatment that worked for her. She now has much to be thankful for and recently celebrated her 25th wedding anniversary with her husband.

Visit FacesofSkinCancer.org to learn more about Cheryl’s story and to hear from others living with advanced skin cancer. Learn from those living with advanced skin cancer that it’s worth it to protect yourself from the sun and find a dermatologist in your area to schedule a skin cancer screening today!

   

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