May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month!

Posted on: May 15th, 2018

A former self-proclaimed sun worshipper, nurse and certified personal trainer Carol Posada has learned her lesson. 

“I was a runner for almost 20 years and wore exercise tank tops and sports bras and didn’t wear sunscreen,” she explains. “One day I was looking through the side of my exercise top and noticed an unusual black spot on my skin.”

A Winter Park resident, Carol has been a patient of board-certified dermatologist Dr. Dimitry Palceski, Reflections Dermatology & Center for Skin Care, for about seven years, but admits she was not religious about going for yearly check-ups. She went into the office for a cosmetic procedure and one of the coordinators noticed her suspicious spot and had the doctor come in to check it out.

A biopsy revealed it was a melanoma in situ, which means the cancer cells were only in the outer layer of skin (epidermis) and had not grown into any other layers. Luckily for Carol the melanoma was successfully removed, and no other treatment was necessary.

But since then, Carol has been very proactive regarding her skin health and has had other suspicious spots removed. “They were always around lines where people don’t realize their skin is exposed. One was right above my sock line,” she says. Now, she always wears sunscreen, even on cloudy days, and does her best to avoid sun exposure.

“It could have been a lot worse,” she says of her experience. “It made me more proactive about wearing sunscreen and not sitting in the sun.”

Carol is just one of an estimated 178,560 cases of melanoma expected to be diagnosed in the U.S. in 2018, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation. More people are diagnosed with skin cancer each year in the U.S. than all other cancers combined. It is an epidemic that often gets overlooked, but May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month and every year we partner with Dr. Palceski of Reflections Dermatology to provide important information about sun safety and skin health. See the infographic below for more info!