One of my readers, named Cindy, was concerned after reading last Friday’s post:
Cindy shared how she had met another myeloma patient who had recently had a squamous cell carcinoma removed. Yet this was a new issue to her. So Cindy asked the IMF’s Dr. Durie about secondary skin cancer issue.
According to Dr. Durie, “the risk of getting this type of skin cancer greatly increases in patients who are immune suppressed. Myeloma and its treatments causes many patients to fit that description. He highly recommended a yearly visit to a dermatologist to have a total body check. ”
As further proof, Cindy forwarded me a link to an article about squamous cell carcinoma from Medscape.com:
Check-out the first several things a dermatologist’s RN should ask about when some sort of skin cancer is suspected–then note how many of them apply to me:
* Existing medical conditions such as xeroderma pigmentosum, or previous history of cutaneous malignancies (basal cell carcinoma [BCC], SCC, sebaceous cell carcinoma, malignant melanoma)
* Immunocompetency of patient (risk factors for human immunodeficiency virus [HIV] infection or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome [AIDS], history of organ transplant, current chemotherapy, immunosuppression, hematologic malignancy [chronic lymphocytic leukemia])
* History of significant sun exposure…
There are at least a half dozen more. But why continue? I have a history of melanoma, I have had a transplant, a hematologic malignancy and I moved to Florida three years ago, in part to worship the sun which helped make me feel so good…
At the time, I wasn’t worried about developing serious skin cancer. After all, that must take decades to develop, right? And I didn’t think I had anywhere near that long.
Thanks for helping contribute to skin cancer awareness among our fellow myeloma patients, Cindy! I hope all of my readers take note.
Feel good, keep smiling and slather-on the sun screen! Pat