This is how we learned a fact that literally saved my husband’s life. 

Since WELLNESS in HOME and LIFE has been my platform for over 15 years, I am led now to share with you all, a post on an exceptionally unknown fact that could indeed save your life!

Additionally, May is National Melanoma Skin Cancer Awareness Month. There is no better time to inform you of what very few people have ever heard about skin cancer that turns out to be melanoma.

Bob always loves time with his grandchildren including helping with math.

Here is what Bob and I learned giving us the shock of our life. Way back in the late 1990’s, Bob had a melanoma removed from his back. The doctor said he had removed all the margins, so he was good to go……but was he?

This yearly test, that we have very rarely heard anyone that has had a melanoma skin cancer removed, is what Dr Ray Fisher in Wichita, Kansas prescribed. He said that often melanoma  could return in the lung…what?? Therefore, this is why every year, Dr Fisher, had Bob get a lung x-ray. 

This Christmas photo was in 2017 two years after his scary diagnosis.

Dutifully, Bob did just this, a yearly lung x-ray. Would you believe that eighteen years later, October 2015, the lung x-ray looked suspicious, necessitating a biopsy?  And eighteen years after his skin cancer melanoma was removed from his shoulder, there it was, a malignant tumor in his lung. When any type of cancer returns, as many of you know, or have unfortunately experienced, it is diagnosed as metastasized often being a stage 4. 

Well of course, our life suddenly changed drastically. Long story short, off we went to MD Anderson in Houston, Texas to meet with a renowned melanoma expert, Dr Hwu. Quickly, treatment and the long uncertain road ahead began that eventually led to immune therapy.

2018 Thanksgiving with our handsome twin sons.

Where are we now?

After relocating to NE Ohio, how very blessed we are to have MDA recommend the University of Pittsburg Medical Center as a premier resource for treating melanoma. And, it is only an hour from us! Being continually tested and monitored, Bob is a walking miracle. All tumors gone, regardless where they occurred, and the worst he experiences is fatigue from the meds. 

Summer of our move, 2019 shows regardless of treatments, Bob never stopped being a team player in work and home.

Moral of this post to you all. If you have had a melanoma skin cancer removed, you MUST have yearly lung x-rays.

If Bob had not had his yearly lung x-ray, and if his cancer had gone undiagnosed, every oncologist has told us he would not be here with us.

Retirement event 2019 hearing tearful, heartfelt prasie for how Bob never let up, never.

But first off, preventing skin cancer is the ultimate goal, of course. Here are guidelines and additional info for your future wellness and quality of life. It is imperative you strictly follow what you need to do in being proactive on your own health, including skin cancer prevention.

Skin cancer is the most common of all human cancers, with 1 million people in the U.S. diagnosed each year with some type of the disease. The three main types of skin cancer are: melanoma, squamous cell carcinoma and basal cell carcinoma. Melanoma is the most dangerous form of all the types of skin cancers.

Why is melanoma the most dangerous type of skin cancer?

There is no reliable cure for melanoma. In most cases, all the surgeon can do is cut cancerous tissue from the body by removing malignant moles, the skin surrounding the malignant mole and removing nearby lymph nodes if the cancer has spread. Melanoma does not respond well to chemotherapy and the effects of drug treatments are quite limited. Once melanoma has spread to other parts of the body life expectancy can rapidly diminish so it’s vital early surgical treatment is given.

BobBob loves his sweets so no problem being pizelle assistant for Christmas goodies.

What causes melanoma?

Melanoma is often caused by exposure to high levels of sunlight. A mole can become malignant (cancerous) often years after the skin has been burnt (often after sunbathing or using sun beds). One or more blistering sunburns during childhood or teenage years can cause skin cancer many years later. Whilst previous exposure to the sun and sun beds are established risk factors, melanoma and other skin cancers can still arise without overexposure to sun and light.

How shall I protect myself against melanoma?

My sun protection is to wear rated sun-wear clothing, hat, and lots of sunblock while still enjoying myself but keeping safe from sun damage.

  1. Avoid sunburn, avoid sun during the mid of the day.
  2. Wear sun-screen and protective clothes year-round.
  3. Avoid tanning lamps or beds.
  4. Be familiar with your skin and do self-check regularly.
  5. Maintain a strong immunity.
  6. Annual skin exam head-to-toe by a professional

**All information in italics credited to: https://qa.healthtopquestions.com/51004/national-melanoma-cancer-awareness

So there you have it. If this post helps just one person, it will be worth any effort on my part to share what most people will never hear regarding melanoma.

Summer is around the corner. However, all year long, especially in the mountains for skiing and etc, please be aware and use sunblock. Your family or loved ones will thank you.

Living and Loving Life Together,

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  1. Carol Straub

    Thank you for such important information! So happy that Bob is doing well!

    • mitzi beach

      you are so welcome Carol and thank you for caring about Bob! I also really apprciate your commenting!

  2. Leslie Carothers

    Thank you for sharing such important info, Mitzi, and thank goodness Bob was diligent about having that lung biopsy! I am so glad he made it through to the *other side* of this. I really do think this post will save lives and will be happy to share it.

    • mitzi beach

      Your are more tha welcome Leslie and I am thrilled that you are sharing this unknown fact that very few have ever heard of even from their doctors. This is bordering on shocking to Bob and me because of what we know and what we have experience.

  3. Linda Merrill

    Great information Mitzi! So glad Bob is doing so well and you all were very vigilant!

    • mitzi beach

      thank you Linda!Hopefully more people will realize the true dangers of skin cancer melanoma and be proactive especially in this day and age with health care so hit or miss.

  4. Janet R Lorusso

    So happy to hear that Bob is doing so well! And thank you for getting the word out about this important information that everyone should know!

  5. Lisa Mende

    Thank you Mitzi, I’m passing this info along to my niece, whose husband had melanoma. This is great info to know.

    • mitzi beach

      this makes me so happy Lisa to know that Bob’s experience can be beneficial, no life saving for others. We are still shocked that most doctors do not mention these facts.
      I hope your niece’s husband fights for what’s necesary because it often takes a fight to get the care we need. Sad but true.

  6. Diana Walker

    My husband will be getting his check up this month.
    Thank you for this info!

    • mitzi beach

      Good to know Diana! And it will take being proactive on the part of the patient in this day and age of health care craziness. But facts do not lie.

  7. Sheri Bruneau

    Thank you for sharing your story, and the information you have shared.

    • mitzi beach

      You are so welcome Sheri!

  8. Christina Rodriguez

    Such good information to have. Thank you! I’m glad your husband is doing well.

    • mitzi beach

      I hope that this may help you or someone you care for Christina. And thank you for the good wishes for Bob-Bob….:)

  9. Suzi Rugg

    Thank you for sharing this great information! I had no idea about the lung cancer connection either!

  10. mitzi beach

    You are so welcome Suzi and you are not alone in this little known fact of lung cancer with melanoma. Being at major medical centers like MDA in Houston and UPMC in Pittsburg, this is a scary result of melanoma that noone wants to be unaware of.

  11. Mary Ann Benoit

    Thank you for sharing this and so glad Bob was good about having that yearly lung biopsy and that he is doing well.

  12. Jillian

    This really stuck close to home. My godfather passed away at 56 from brain cancer that metastasized from a tiny black dot of melanoma on his ear. They found it far too late, and he only lived three months past his diagnosis. My uncle also had lung cancer that started with a melanoma. Luckily they caught his in time. It’s SO important to get yearly checkups at the dermatologist.

    • mitzi beach

      Oh Jillian,your confirmation regarding your family members who have experienced this very serious aftermath of having a skin melonoma. I am so sorry for these results, but I am beyond grateful that you responded with your relevant comment!
      If I only used your first name, could I quote you sometime?