anti-pd1 Melanoma scars Skin Cancer Awareness Month Yervoy Zelboraf
May - Skin Cancer Awareness Month
I heard this quote once from the show Criminal Minds :
David Rossi: Scars remind us where we've been. They don't have to dictate where we're going.
It reminded me of how concerned folks get some times about the scar that might be left behind from having a mole biopsied. But if it's caught early enough Melanoma has a strong possibility of never coming back! I know I've shared my story a few times where my regular doctor and even dermatologist said my mole was nothing. It wasn't nothing - it was nodular Melanoma! My advice: when in doubt, cut it out! A small scar left from a biopsy is nothing compared to piece of mind!
Since my mole came back as melanoma, they had to go back in to do a Wide Local Excision where they had to remove 2-3" of skin around where the mole was to make sure there were clear margins! As you can see from the picture - it was a pretty big procedure!
What's my point? The point is that skin cancer is more than just a mole being removed. In the last 2 1/2 years I've had the chunk of my back removed, 16+ lymph nodes removed from under my right arm, 2 wedges of my left lung and about 8" of my small intestine... For almost a year now I've been on some sort of drug treatment - first Zelboraf, then 4 rounds of ipi (yervoy) and now a clinical trial where I've had 5 doses Merck's anti-PD1.
But I embrace those scars and as the quote says - they remind me where I've been... The good news - the lymph node continues to shrink.
You should be doing a full body mole check each month and seeing your dermatologist once a year! Since it's Skin Cancer Awareness month - there are lots of free skin screenings going on! Take advantage of it!
The American Society for Dermatological Surgery has a link for you to look up free screenings.