Your Healthy Family: Putting Melanoma on Ice - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

Your Healthy Family: Putting Melanoma on Ice

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Fans of Colorado College hockey may not recognize his face, but they know the voice of play-by-play man Ken Landau.  Earlier this year, Landau missed the first broadcasts of his career because of a medical situation that began with a simple annual physical.  

Ken says, “When I went in for my physical, my primary care physician saw two things she wanted me to get checked out by a dermatologist.  One was on my shoulder and the other was  underneath my eye. The left shoulder was nothing, but the one under my eye was something".  

The “something” was melanoma, says Ken, and the news took him by surprise.  "I guess you never think it could happen to you, it's always somebody else but when they told me I had it it was like no, it can't be right.  It was a shock to my system.  We all kind of think we are 10-feet tall and bullet proof, and they tell you have it and the first reaction is fear.  My mom had melanoma and she died of a recurrent melanoma, so this really strikes home with me, I mean it was a real punch to the stomach."

The denial, fear, and shock of the news passed for Ken as the doctors kept talking and treatment began.  “The doctors told me this is very treatable, it was superficial in my case. They went in did what they had to do the reconstruction was more extensive than the actual excision of the melanoma."

The reconstruction of his lower eyelid is still a work in progress, but Ken isn’t letting that keep him in the shadows. He is happy to to talk with anyone about what happened around his eye.   

"I think it's important for me to get that message out and say, ‘listen this is preventable and it's treatable so it's important it's very important.’"

While Ken’s bout with melanoma has left him with battle scars, he feels fortunate to be alive and is moving forward with his life showing the same toughness commonly displayed by the Tiger hockey players he calls the action for.  “I'm lucky that we caught this thing early. They went in and did what they had to do.  I look more like a hockey player now, than most of the guys on the C.C. team, so from that standpoint it's not all that bad, if anything I look tougher.  The important thing is the scars will disappear. I'm only 4 months out from surgery so these scars will die down, but they got the cancer and that is the thing that really matters."

Ken says he remains grateful for the skill and professionalism of the team of doctors and surgeons at UCHealth in Aurora who continue to reconstruct his lower eyelid to help him fully heal.

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