I have been thinking about posting this for a while and I saw this post on Facebook this morning and knew it was time.
Time after time when speaking about my melanoma diagnosis what I hear over and over is…”Oh, you HAD melanoma”. Well, it is hard to explain. People think that melanoma is only skin cancer, you cut it out, you are cured and ready to go. So, So Wrong! I also get the question, “You have melanoma or you had A melanoma”? Well, both.
Yes, melanoma is a tumor of the skin, but can invade other organs and also can initially be detected on other organs. For instance, if you have been diagnosed with melanoma and they cut it out, you are at an increased risk of recurrence and this recurrence could show up next on your skin or in vital organs.
So, this is the problem I have with the terms HAD melanoma and A melanoma. Please read the FB post and understand how most of us Melanoma Warriors live and why we are so passionate about advocacy, education and awareness. Melanoma is still so misunderstood. Melanoma, in my opinion, is one of the most disregarded cancers and one of the most deadly.
My next statement is not meant to downplay any other cancer types, but to merely use these cancers as an example. The best way I can explain this post and to help people understand this issue is to use breast cancer and lung cancer as an example. Lung cancer means you have tumors initially diagnosed in your lungs with the DNA mutations and characteristics of “lung” cancer…same with breast cancer. Would you speak to a lung or breast cancer warrior and say, “Oh, you HAD A breast tumor or Oh you HAD a lung tumor”? No, most people understand the severity and seriousness of these cancers and do things to prevent these cancers (i.e., quit smoking, limit estrogen causing foods/supplements, etc.). So WHY do people still use tanning beds and lay out in the sun and BURN?
OH…I know WHY…because it is JUST SKIN CANCER, right sildentadal.com?!?! NO!!
Please educate yourself and know the dangers and seriousness of Melanoma. Promote education, advocacy, awareness and early detection.
Thank you Danielle Bosser Dahm for posting this and speaking to and for me and most Cancer Warriors!