As Simple As A Mole | Tara’s Story

Sanova Dermatology’s Benefit’s Coordinator Tara offered to share her personal story involving her father’s battle with Basal Cell Carcinoma.

“I never saw my dad wear sunscreen… We never wore sunscreen.” Tara believe many of her father’s activities and habits led to the development of his skin cancer. “My father was in the sun all the time. He had these ‘leopard prints’ all over his shoulders,” she mentions referring to his sunspots. “He was always outside coaching softball and never wore a shirt outdoors when he was home.”

“When I was little he had a small mole by his eye. One day he scratched it, and it wouldn’t stop bleeding and never healed. The wound kept getting bigger and bigger until it consumed the right side of his face. Within a few years, he went from having the small wound to having a hole on the side of his face.”

“He never wanted to visit the doctor because he was prideful and stubborn. Then I noticed one day that he was missing part of his face. He didn’t go to the doctor until our family made him go. And after we went to the doctor we were finally made aware of how severe it was. The doctors were even shocked at how bad the wound had become.”

“He was then referred to surgery, which took 16 hours. They basically removed the right side of his face and took a skin graft from his leg which basically gave him skin on half of his face. He lost his sense of taste and the feeling in his face. He became depressed due to the lack of taste buds, vision, and felt he looked inhuman.”

After mole had been scratched and my dad began to wear a band-aid.

After mole had been scratched and my dad began to wear a band-aid.

“He then went into radiation, and began to feel a strong back pain that made it extremely uncomfortable for him to walk,” says Tara. “He was scared to share information like this with his doctor,” even after this behavior had previously lead to such severe consequences.

“Five months after that he was unable to walk and in tremendous pain constantly. This cancer, that had a very low chance of spreading, had spread throughout his spine.” The cancer had returned, this time in his esophagus and blood. Within three weeks of this discovery, he had passed away.

He was only 56 years old.

“Since working at Sanova Dermatology, I can’t believe that a doctor like Dr. Mamelak is right here… He can really save people’s lives.”

“This was as simple as a mole”

It is important to note that 1 in 5 Americans will be diagnosed with skin cancer in their lifetime. And many do not seek medical attention, either out of fear or stubbornness. The simple act of visiting your Dermatologist can make the difference in your health and allows these tumors to be treated while they are still manageable.

Tara hopes that by sharing her story, it will raise awareness of the importance of yearly skin exams, and encourage everyone to get their skin checked if they see anything abnormal.

Contact Us

If you have been diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma, or have questions about skin cancer, please contact us at Sanova Dermatology today. Our physician experts can treat your skin condition with a variety of therapies including Mohs surgery – the most precise and effective technique for treating skin cancer.

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