RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) - Today is Melanoma Monday. It's a day when survivors, advocates and healthcare workers raise awareness about skin cancer.
Sandy Wilson's journey began in March 2013. "All I saw was a tiny cut, and I had a second spot that I didn't even see there." The Powhatan woman was diagnosed with Basal Cell Carcinoma. A tiny cut on her nose that wouldn't go away was cancer, and there was more. "It was like shrapnel. It had spread, so you can't tell from the surface what's going on underneath."
Dr. Galen Fisher removed four layers of cancer with what's called Mohs' surgery and used Wilson's ear cartilage to help rebuild her nose over time. It took a dozen procedures over as many months. Wilson says she never expected her skin cancer diagnosis would involve so much. "I just thought, 'oh, they can burn it off. I'm going to walk out literally with one of those tiny bandages.' When I walked out that day, my dad went with me, I had a bandage over my ear and part of my face."
Wilson says there was physical and emotional pain during her ordeal, but she made it to the finish line thanks to a great doctor. She now also has a new outlook. "I don't go anywhere without this," she says while pulling sunscreen out of her purse.
Wilson hopes other take her lead, wear sunscreen daily and get anything suspicious checked, the sooner the better. "If I didn't stop to take care of it, how much worse could it have been?"
Do you have a mole or mark somewhere on your body? Keep an eye on it following what's called the ABC's of skin cancer:
A = Asymmetry
B = Border
C = Color
D = Diameter
E = Elevation or Evolving
Have a doctor check any changes you see.
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