COLORADO SPRINGS — In our last Your Healthy Family story (YHF: Ken Landau’s melanoma recovery 5 years later) we checked back in the with voice of Colorado College Hockey, Ken Landau, who is now 5 years past a melanoma diagnosis and surgery to remove it. As part of our melanoma awareness stories, it’s important to remember you don’t have to have a health scare to make protecting your skin a priority.
Since I began riding with Team SHIELD616 cycling, I met a Coloradoan who has always set a good example for anyone who loves being outdoors. Todd Brummond is the most proactive cyclist I have even ridden with when it comes to wearing sun screen, or coving up sensitive areas, and I finally asked him why?
Todd says, “Like most folks, it takes a family member or a friend to go through something before we get motivated to take care of ourselves. I had a friend that had a skin scare several years ago, and so I went in (to the dermatologist) the following year. Of course, I thought I would have no issues or concerns, and I had a couple (of squamous cell carcinomas) on my nose a couple on my ear. It was a case of either having them frozen off, or watching them and leads to say I chose to have them froze off right away and not have to worry about those.”
Since that happened, when Todd was 50 now 6 years later, in addition to an annual physical, Todd also pays an annual visit to his dermatologist. “There are enough things in life that come up that we can't control, and if it’s an area where we can do a little preemptive maintenance, then that's something I'm all for.”
And for those people who haven't had a push from a loved one or friend to get checked, and who love soaking in the sun or earning that deep bronze tan, thinking skin cancer won't happen to them, Todd says, “I think that's being a little naive. I will agree a tan does look nice, but I'm not so sure that any of us would think as we age, those sunspots or wrinkles are that attractive. Certainly when you look at cancer and having to have those surgically removed and the scarring, and that's certainly not an attractive look by any means.”
In our final Melanoma awareness story, we’ll be hearing from Colorado Springs dermatologist, Dr. Brett Matheson, with the Skin Cancer and Dermatoogy Center of Colorado Springs, who gave me my first skin cancer screening this year, and more about the importance of these exams as melanoma cases are rising in Colorado.