I am 22 years old and I have never stepped foot into a tanning bed in my life. I have very fair skin and two months ago I noticed a "freckle" on my neck. Within a month, it started to get darker and bigger, which worried me so I kept an eye on it and decided to go ahead and go to the dermatologist.
I went in and the first thing he said was " We need to go ahead and remove that now!" I really didn't know how to respond because I knew that what he said couldn't mean a good thing! Nobody in my family has ever had any sort of cancer so I didn't know what to expect. I waited three days and got a call from the office who said "You have melanoma." I had no idea what to say. I asked, what stage? How bad? And all they said was "You need to come in and have surgery in 2 days."
I wondered if I waited too long to get it checked out. The thought consumed me. So I went and had surgery on my neck and the office called me and said that it was in Stage 1 and I had come just in time because if it would have grown any larger I would of had to go through radiation.
So my new saying is "If in doubt, check it out!" Dont hesitate! Don't think just because you don't go out in the sun or have a family history that you can't get melanoma. Have any new growths, freckles, moles, or spots checked out. Now I have to go every 3 months for the next 2 years to make sure that there is no new progression.
I am so blessed that I caught it early. I am so glad to have a place like this to come to encourage early detection. It just hit me the other day that " I am a cancer survior!"