I hate the “C” word. My dad died from cancer. I’ve had friends die of cancer. I’ve seen countless families impacted in negative ways by cancer.
I don’t like skin cancer. While some types are not life-threating, they still cause problems and can create extended issues if you don’t get them taken care of quickly.
I’m not one who likes to go to the Doctor because it takes “too much time”. However, I wish I’d gone sooner with a problem I had on my ear recently. Since, I love to be outdoors and enjoy fishing & golf, I’ve worn baseball type caps for years and would often get sunburned pretty severly on my ears. I never considered the fact that this could lead to skin cancer.
About a year ago, I got a small sore on my right ear that wouldn’t go away completely. It would heal some and then I’d pick at the small scab; it would bleed a lot and then partially heal again. I didn’t think anything of it.
A few weeks ago I began to notice some spots on my hands that concerned me and had a small spot on my nose that was irritating. I went to a dermatologist and while there asked her to check my ear too.
The spots on my hands were aging spots, the spot on my nose was pre-cancerous, and the spot on my ear was basil cell carcinoma (a common skin cancer). She told me there was no great concern but I needed to go to a MOHS Surgeon to have the skin cancer removed.
I ended up seeing a MOHS surgeon and plastic surgeon. We’re not finished with the process yet, but I was shocked at the amount of my ear they had to remove. The photo below is a little gross but shows my ear after initial surgeries. I don’t have a photo to show from the back side, but there’s a pretty big chunk missing.
Why share this? Because – I’ve finally realized the danger of skin cancer and want to enourage you – especially if you’re young – to use sun screen consistently and DON’T FORGET YOUR EARS !! And if you have a sore that doesn’t heal or comes and goes like this one did on my ear, get it checked quickly.
The only fun part of this whole deal has been when people ask me what happened – I tell them – “Oh, I got in the ring with Mike Tyson”
USE SUN SCREEN !