7 Things I learned when I had melanoma


Once you’ve had melanoma, you never forget it. It changes your life forever. But most importantly, it makes you more aware of the importance of prevention and early detection. I know there are many people who have been diagnosed with skin cancer who want to learn more about preventing future occurrences and treatment options. So here are seven things I learned along the way:

The first sign of melanoma doesn’t always look like a mole.

The first sign of melanoma doesn’t always look like a mole.

Moles are usually dark brown or black, but they can also have several colors. In fact, the first sign of melanoma is often a new spot on your skin—a freckle, patch of hair, blemish or birthmark that looks different than the rest of your body. If you notice one of these changes and are worried about it, visit your doctor right away so they can take a closer look at what’s going on.

Get knowledgeable about skin cancer.

Although melanoma is the least common, it’s also the most deadly type of skin cancer. Melanoma accounts for only 1% of all skin cancers but causes 75% of all deaths from skin cancer.

That’s why it’s so important to be knowledgeable about what you can do to protect yourself, your loved ones and your friends from this disease. Here are some tips on how to prevent getting melanoma:

  • If you have a mole that changes or darkens in size, shape or color, see a dermatologist immediately. Melanomas often start with non-cancerous moles that later turn into a dangerous form of cancer if not caught early enough by doctors who specialize in treating this illness.
  • Avoid sun exposure between 10am and 4pm during peak hours when UV rays are strongest (about two hours before sunrise until two hours after sunset). Wear sunscreen with an SPF 30+ every day on exposed areas like the face, neck and arms when outdoors during daylight hours even if clouds cover part of the sky overhead because they still allow some UV rays through them which could cause damage over time if not protected by adequate SPF coverage according to American Academy of Dermatology guidelines set forth by medical experts who study these types of issues regularly at conferences held throughout North America every year since 1984!

Wear sunscreen every day everywhere.

The next time you go outside, make sure you’re wearing sunscreen. There are two reasons why this is important. First, your skin needs to be protected from the sun every day (and not just in the summer). Second, getting melanoma can change your perspective on life in a way that makes it difficult to do things that you used to enjoy or consider ordinary parts of life. You may be more cautious about spending time outdoors when there’s a risk for overexposure—in fact, some people even choose never to spend time outside again after this experience. This is one thing I’ve had trouble with: avoiding exposure altogether isn’t healthy for anyone! One easy way around it is by wearing more sunscreen than usual and making sure everything (and everyone) is covered up before heading outside for longer periods of time than normal activities would require.

I learned this lesson after my diagnosis: If there’s any chance at all that someone might get burned from being exposed too long without protection from UV rays then they should take precautions as soon as possible because once damage has been done nothing will reverse it except perhaps surgery which isn’t always successful either especially when dealing with cancerous cells like these ones were.”

Cover up your skin when you’re outside.

It’s important to protect your skin from the sun, but especially when you’re outside in the summer.

It’s not just about wearing sunscreen—you should also wear sunglasses and a hat if you can. As much as possible, try to avoid being in direct sunlight between 10am and 4pm during peak hours of UV radiation (the time of day when most skin cancer occurs).

If you have fair skin, remember that tanning beds are dangerous too! Not only do they expose you to harmful UV rays but they also increase your chances of getting melanoma by up to 15 times compared with non-users.

Tell your partner, friends and family that you have skin cancer so they can check their own skin and be vigilant.

Tell your partner, friends and family that you have skin cancer so they can check their own skin and be vigilant.

When I was first diagnosed with melanoma, I thought it would be a great idea to keep it quiet from my son. He was only 2 years old at the time and I didn’t want him to worry about me getting sick or dying. But my husband convinced me that if we were going to fight this battle together as a family, he needed to know what he was up against too. And so did our parents and close friends. When someone in your life has been diagnosed with skin cancer (or any type of cancer), it is important for them but also for those around them to know what they are dealing with and how they are doing. This will allow everyone who cares about this person to stay informed while still allowing them privacy in regards to their treatment plan or diagnosis process

Research your treatment options thoroughly.

Research your treatment options thoroughly.

As I was learning about my condition, I found that there was a lot to know. It was overwhelming to wade through everything on my own. Most of the information I got from talking with friends and family turned out to be wrong or outdated, but some things stuck with me and helped me make decisions for myself.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t seek out second opinions; that’s absolutely a good thing to do! But be careful when doing so: don’t just get any opinion you can find online or through word-of-mouth. Make sure the source is reputable before going with them (if they’re not an accredited expert).

Don’t get too wrapped up in numbers and statistics.

One of the things I learned is that there are two kinds of people in this world: those who get wrapped up in numbers and statistics, and those who don’t. If you are one of those who does, then let me tell you something: don’t. Numbers and statistics can be overwhelming; they can make us feel powerless or alone or like we’re being treated unfairly by life. But they shouldn’t, because at the end of the day they’re just numbers and statistics—not some kind of magical formula that dictates how long you’ll live or when you’ll die. They don’t know any more about your life than I do! So don’t worry about them!

You can protect yourself from melanoma

You can protect yourself from melanoma.

  • Wear sunscreen on a regular basis, even in the winter months when you aren’t in the sun for long periods of time.
  • Check your skin regularly for any changes—they may be early signs of melanoma. If you see something suspicious, get it checked out by a doctor.
  • Cover up your skin when spending time in the sun, especially if you have fair skin or a family history of melanoma. This includes covering up with hats, t-shirts and sunglasses while wearing sunscreen underneath them!
  • Get a full body check (including under arms and between toes) every year by your health care provider to help detect early signs of skin cancer before they become dangerous.


The most important part of recovering from melanoma and taking care of your skin is being vigilant about what you can do to protect yourself. Remember, it’s up to all of us to stay informed about the risks and signs, so that we can catch this disease early and treat it effectively when needed.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *