Darian has been diagnosed with melanoma (skin cancer). It was caught early and there is a 99% cure rate at this stage. She will have to have surgery (June 23, 2010) to remove the cancer cells- this will require a fairly deep incision to make sure they get it all. It is a painful process and means a 3-4 week recovery(no work, staying off her leg to prevent a hematoma).
So what is required…
- Don’t panic but do pray– it never hurts and if enough of us are praying-God has to hear!
- Take a moment to remember Darian, give a call, send a card, send a get well basket(she’ll take tequila to dull the pain or money to replace her loss of earnings)- let her know how much we all love her!
- Go have a check-up yourself (Kris and Matty are going)- it can’t hurt.
- Minimize exposure to sources of ultraviolet radiation (the sun and sunbeds), follow sun protection measures -wear long-sleeved shirts, long trousers, and broad-brimmed hats and use sunscreens.
To detect melanomas (and increase survival rates), it is recommended to learn what they look like (see “ABCD” mnemonic below), to be aware of moles and check for changes (shape, size, color, itching or bleeding) and to show any suspicious moles to a doctor with an interest and skills in skin malignancy.
A popular method for remembering the signs and symptoms of melanoma is the mnemonic “ABCDE”:
- Asymmetrical skin lesion.
- Border of the lesion is irregular.
- Color: melanomas usually have multiple colors.
- Diameter: moles greater than 6 mm are more likely to be melanomas than smaller moles.
- Enlarging: Enlarging or evolving
Melanoma is often misdiagnosed. The above do not exist or it is written off as nothing. Kris brought Darian to the doctor several weeks ago who basically told her it was “nothing”- Kris didn’t take “nothing” for an answer and went to another doctor. Catching it early is key- advocate for your health.