Tia Costello was eight months pregnant with her second child when she was diagnosed with melanoma. “I was angry. I screamed into the pillow multiple times and I felt my baby inside me start to move,” she recalls. “I knew she felt the panic inside. I was scared and I feared for her too.”
So you’re sitting in the dermatologist’s waiting room, filling out the usual forms required for a doctor visit. After filling in the basics, you spot the next question and realize you’re stumped: it’s asking about your family’s medical history. Has anyone in your family had melanoma or any other form of skin cancer? Here’s why the doctor asks, and what you need to know:
No one wants to hear, “you have something on your face,” but when that “something” looks suspicious and is potentially skin cancer, it’s time to put awkwardness aside and speak up right away.
Here’s one of the many things that keep dermatologist Jennifer Stein, MD, PhD, up at night: people who could be at risk of melanoma and avoid seeing a doctor because they think they can’t afford it.