The Unexpected Diagnosis: A Woman’s Battle with Skin Cancer
When Christy Staats visited a dermatologist for a red patch under her right eye, the woman expected a lecture on sunscreen use or skincare tips, but not a devastating diagnosis. The possibility of being able to detect skin cancer in “Stage I” means a hope of living, as long as treatment is carried out. What Christy Staats never imagined is that she would experience it firsthand.
According to Good Morning America, the woman made an appointment with a dermatologist two years ago to have a different spot on her cheek examined. Staats thought it was a spot or injury caused by the sun’s rays. However, his blemish on his cheek turned out to be a benign skin cancer, according to his primary dermatologist, Alexander Witkowski, MD, Ph. D., an assistant professor of dermatology at the Oregon Health & Science University School of Medicine.
A Discovery and Record Breaking Accomplishment
Witkowski first examined the blemish with a dermatoscope, but there was another one that caught his eye, measuring just 0.025 inches. It was the size of the tip of a needle and a slightly different pigment than a normal mole. Their suspicions were correct, and finally the team together at the Oregon Health and Science University confirmed that it was a strange and “more small skin cancer” in the history of medicine.
After confirming that Staats’ mole was a melanoma, Witkowski proceeded to remove it before it spread. Last week, Guinness World Records recognized the doctor and his team of researchers for discovering the smallest known skin cancer spot.
“We want to share this knowledge with the next generation as this field of healthcare begins to change, I think that in a good way,” Witkowski, 36, told The Washington Post.
The Importance of Early Detection
Witkowski noted that some cancerous moles smaller than 5 millimeters in diameter often go undetected. He also indicated that he usually sees lesions of approximately one millimeter in size, but the Staats mole was barely noticeable.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, if caught early, skin cancer is highly treatable. It is important to keep an eye on any moles or spots that change in size, shape, or color, become painful or start to bleed. Regular check-ups with a dermatologist can help with early detection and treatment.
Christy Staats’ story serves as a reminder of the importance of early detection and the need for regular check-ups with a dermatologist. Don’t wait until it’s too late, take action and be proactive in protecting your skin.