Skin Cancer xxix, 2011 : Page 14

PATIENTS AND SURVIVORS SPEAK ALICE I will never forget the sick feeling of being told, “It’s cancer.” I spent way too much of my youth involved in outdoor sports without enough sun protection and then used a tanning booth to be tan year-round. The first cancer on my face, a basal cell carcinoma, was a real eye opener — you don’t think of yourself as vain until someone wants to cut into your face! Today, I’m proud to have the palest legs in the neighborhood. From Facebook MICHELLE Personal Experiences with Skin Cancer We recently launched a new Personal Experiences section on www.SkinCancer.org , where skin cancer patients, survivors, and their families can share stories about how skin cancer has affected their lives. Share your personal experience by joining our active online community at www.facebook.com/skincancerfoundation. I was diagnosed in May (on Melanoma Monday!) with Stage I melanoma on my right foot, just below my ankle. It was a flat mole with a darker center. The most frequent question I’m asked is, “how did you get a mole there?” And my response is that moles can occur anywhere. Pay close attention and have yourself checked. I am so thankful it was caught at Stage I. I had a wonderful team of doctors. The scar doesn’t bother me — I’ll take a scar any day compared to the cancer. JENNIFER I was never a sun-worshiping kind of girl, but I did have free access to a tanning bed at a job. That’s how I spent my lunch hours. Then a mole appeared on my abdomen, and my gynecologist suggested I have it checked. The dermatologist removed it and sent it off for biopsy. At the age of 33, I was diagnosed with melanoma. Needless to say, I am a big advocate for saying no to tanning beds! The Tribute Circle The Tribute Circle is a community of donors who have established funds in memory or in honor of a relative, friend, or colleague. These Tributes help to ensure that the rich lives of those who have been affected by skin cancer are remembered and honored. You can join the Circle by creating a Tribute Circle page to share your story or to honor or memorialize someone special. Members of the Tribute Circle are called Champions. Visit the Tribute Circle and discover that becoming a Champion is rewarding, and much easier than you think. support.skincancer.org/tributecircle FROM OUR TRIBUTE CIRCLE DR. NOSSA, IRONMAN Dr. Nossa (see 140 Miles in the Sun , p.34) used this event to raise awareness about skin cancer prevention — and funds for The Skin Cancer Foundation. The Foundation’s Tribute Circle enables supporters to create a fund that donors can contribute to online. As of March, 2011, Dr. Nossa has helped raise over $2,100 for the Foundation. HONORING GIUSEPPE CUNZOLO My father, who was born and raised in the south of Italy, grew up in the sun, and never avoided it after coming to America. When he was around 55, he developed a small bump on the inside of his ear. After ignoring it for months, we finally convinced him to go for a check-up. It was surreal when we were told the true diagnosis…squamous cell skin cancer. Our shock was rocked by fear when we then learned it had also spread into his lymph system, giving him a diagnosis of Stage IV skin cancer. Being of Mediterranean descent, we always assumed we were immune to skin cancer — that it only affected fair-skinned individuals. But like most assumptions, this is completely incorrect! My father received radiation. We were ecstatic when a few months later, he was given a clean bill of health…until two years later, when during a routine check-up, a scan showed a “hot spot,” and surgery confirmed that the squamous cell cancer had returned. This time he’s being treated with chemotherapy and radiation. We hope this treatment will cure him for good. – Nicole Cunzolo 14 S K I N CA N C E R F O UND A T I O N J O URN A L

Personal Experiences with Skin Cancer

We recently launched a new Personal Experiences section on www.SkinCancer.org, where skin cancer patients, survivors, and their families can share stories about how skin cancer has affected their lives.<br /> <br /> Share your personal experience by joining our active online community at www.facebook.com/skincancerfoundation.<br /> <br /> ALICE<br /> I will never forget the sick feeling of being told, "It’s cancer." I spent way too much of my youth involved in outdoor sports without enough sun protection and then used a tanning booth to be tan year-round. The first cancer on my face, a basal cell carcinoma, was a real eye opener – you don’t think of yourself as vain until someone wants to cut into your face! Today, I’m proud to have the palest legs in the neighborhood.<br /> <br /> MICHELLE<br /> I was diagnosed in May (on Melanoma Monday!) with Stage I melanoma on my right foot, just below my ankle. It was a flat mole with a darker center. The most frequent question I’m asked is, "how did you get a mole there?" And my response is that moles can occur anywhere. Pay close attention and have yourself checked. I am so thankful it was caught at Stage I. I had a wonderful team of doctors. The scar doesn’t bother me – I’ll take a scar any day compared to the cancer.<br /> <br /> JENNIFER<br /> I was never a sun-worshiping kind of girl, but I did have free access to a tanning bed at a job. That’s how I spent my lunch hours. Then a mole appeared on my abdomen, and my gynecologist suggested I have it checked. The dermatologist removed it and sent it off for biopsy. At the age of 33, I was diagnosed with melanoma. Needless to say, I am a big advocate for saying no to tanning beds!<br />

The Tribute Circle

DR. NOSSA, IRONMAN<br /> <br /> Dr. Nossa (see 140 Miles in the Sun, p.34) used this event to raise awareness about skin cancer prevention – and funds for The Skin Cancer Foundation. The Foundation’s Tribute Circle enables supporters to create a fund that donors can contribute to online. As of March, 2011, Dr. Nossa has helped raise over $2,100 for the Foundation.<br /> <br /> HONORING GIUSEPPE CUNZOLO<br /> My father, who was born and raised in the south of Italy, grew up in the sun, and never avoided it after coming to America. When he was around 55, he developed a small bump on the inside of his ear. After ignoring it for months, we finally convinced him to go for a check-up. It was surreal when we were told the true diagnosis…squamous cell skin cancer. Our shock was rocked by fear when we then learned it had also spread into his lymph system, giving him a diagnosis of Stage IV skin cancer. Being of Mediterranean descent, we always assumed we were immune to skin cancer – that it only affected fair-skinned individuals.<br /> <br /> But like most assumptions, this is completely incorrect! My father received radiation. We were ecstatic when a few months later, he was given a clean bill of health…until two years later, when during a routine check-up, a scan showed a "hot spot," and surgery confirmed that the squamous cell cancer had returned. This time he’s being treated with chemotherapy and radiation. We hope this treatment will cure him for good. – Nicole Cunzolo<br /> <br /> The Tribute Circle<br /> The Tribute Circle is a community of donors who have established funds in memory or in honor of a relative, friend, or colleague. These Tributes help to ensure that the rich lives of those who have been affected by skin cancer are remembered and honored.<br /> <br /> You can join the Circle by creating a Tribute Circle page to share your story or to honor or memorialize someone special. Members of the Tribute Circle are called Champions. Visit the Tribute Circle and discover that becoming a Champion is rewarding, and much easier than you think. support.skincancer.org/tributecircle<br />

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