Cabbage noticed a couple of suspicious moles on his arm a few weeks ago.
Not the kind of suspicious molls you see chugging down a winny red from the smoking bay of Campbelltown mall while they yell at little Shaniqkquah to “Git down orf that fackin railin” But the lumpy type born of sun exposure.
Had they always been there? Neither of us could be entirely sure, because truthfully, how much time to you spend checking out your moles?
I will tell you something sad and shameful.
I can recall exactly how many hormonal zits appeared on my face the night before I ate KFC with Joel and Benji Madden at a party last year.
I had one on my chin, one in the crease of my nostril and a particularly painful blind one on my forehead.
I actually discussed these hormonal outbreaks with a pretty woman whom was there for the Australian 20-20 Cricket team digital marketing. We discussed hormonal outbreaks for a good three quarters of an hour.
That big brown lump on the forearm of the hand I hold every night though?
That is pretty messed up, right there. Why is it that I can remember the type, size and location of three non-deadly pimples, and not know if the mole on my husband’s arm is bigger than it was a few weeks ago? Why is it that I have had discussions about hormonal outbreaks, we can roll our eyes and curse those damn inconvenient pimples and yet we don’t sit down and discuss the characteristics of skin cancers?
I live in AUSTRALIA people... I have received a sunburn from looking out of my front window in summer.
Anyway… Erring on the side of caution, Cabbage made a doctor’s appointment who agreed that the moles were suspicious and took a punch biopsy.
A few days later we received a phone call from the doctor’s office telling Cabbage to come in urgently.
No one wants to hear the word ‘Urgently’ from your doctor unless they are uttered after the words “I will get you your Xanax prescription”.
It also seems that our definition of urgent and the doctor’s definition of urgent differ greatly. Our urgent was now, squeeze him in this afternoon. The doctor’s definition of urgent was the next available appointment which was in four days’ time.
So FOUR LONG ASS days later, the doctor sat us down, looked my husband square in the face and said “I am afraid both lesions are skin cancer” before he smiled kindly at both of us as though he had just read us the daily specials.
What did that even mean? What is skin cancer because, dude... For fecks sake?! CANCER!
The kindly smiling doctor then informed us that there was actually very little to be alarmed about and two out of three Australians will be diagnosed with a skin cancer by the age of seventy.
I wanted to tell him that he should change the order in which he delivered those two sentences.
He went on to explain that there were three main types of skin cancer. (And remember people, I am not a doctor, or a dentist and you can show my face on TV) But from what I understood, the most common type of skin cancer is Basal Cell Carcinoma, which are growths in the deepest layers of the epidermis. These rarely spread can be disfiguring and are easily treated if seen to promptly.
The second most common is the Squamous Cell Carcinoma, which are growths in the upper layer of the epidermis. They can sometimes spread to other organs if left untreated,are disfiguring and are easily treated if seen to promptly.
Then there is Melanoma, which are growths in the pigment producing layers of the skin, these guys are troublesome because they spread more easily that Basal or Squamous cell carcinoma. However, 95% of all skin cancer is successfully treated if found early.
We were told that Cabbage had Basal Cell Carcinoma. WOO HOO! *Best skin cancer to have- hah farve!
SO! The doctor is not very concerned that the cells may have spread because Basal cell carcinoma’s very rarely do, and as we erred on the side of caution and sought treatment as early as we noticed a change, and pending the tissue results as a formality, he has as good as given cabbage the all clear. We are very lucky.
The doctor removed the suspicious moles from Cabbage’s arm while he sang and danced to Boney M. He joked while snipped and said that if we didn’t like his singing voice then he would cut us, and as he said that, he held up the bloody scalpel he was using to remove the moles from Cabbage’s arm and he grinned menacingly from behind his face mask.
ALLLLLLL - RIGHTY THEN.
CHECK YOUR MOLES PEOPLE!!! ANNUALLY!!!’ & look, I know it is a pain in the ass, I mean, standing around in your undies while some dude picks through your scalp like an ape looking for lice to eat, and inspecting every inch of your skin is less favourable to say… 10,000 other things we could be doing, but it is so important to catch these things early.
The only dirty mole on my husband’s arm is going to be ME damnit!! So we have decided to make our annual mole check an event we will look forward to, rather than one we are likely to put off.
Our annual mole check will involve a massage, a nice meal, a few wines and budget permitting, a night away from the kids somewhere nice and we are going to do it every year.
We are going to be all like, “YES ITS MOLE CHECK TIME!!!” You should Join us, GET CHECKED TODAY and take a friend.
PS Did you know that Sun Smart have an app that has UV alerts, sunscreen reminders and heaps of other useful info?
Search Sun Smart in your devices App store.
Sun Smart and the Cancer Council Victoria say that the best way to minimise skin damage, sunburn and skin cancer in the future is to use a combination of sun protection measures during the daily sun protection times.
· Check the sun protection times each day on the free SunSmart app, the weather section of your daily newspaper or at cancer.org.au – the times show when the UV Index is forecast to be three or above. At this level, UV is damaging to the skin and sun protection is required.
· During the sun protection times, use a combination of sun protection steps to protect your skin:
1. Slip – on sun-protective clothing (make sure it covers as much skin as possible)
2. Slop – on SPF (sun protection factor) 30 or higher broad-spectrum sunscreen. Apply 20 minutes before you go outdoors and reapply every two hours
3. Slap – on a broad-brimmed hat that protects your face, head, neck and ears
4. Seek – shade
5. Slide – on wrap-around sunglasses (make sure they meet Australian Standard AS1067).
SunSmart recommends that all Australians should become familiar with their skin. Check all of your skin, not just sun-exposed areas. If you notice anything unusual, including any change in shape, colour or size of a spot, or the development of a new spot, visit your doctor as soon as possible.
This post was not paid, nor commissioned by SunSmart. ©Emmasbrain