Get Your Skin Checked for Skin Cancer Awareness Month
- Former Real Housewives of Orange County star Tamra Judge, 54, is urging her Instagram followers to get their skin checked for Melanoma and Skin Cancer Awareness Month.
- In August 2017, Tamra lifted her short-shorts to show a small lesion on her left butt cheek and shared a sobering message with her Instagram followers following her melanoma diagnosis.
- Melanoma starts in the same cells that give your skin, hair and eyes their color. However, it’s a more dangerous form of skin cancer because of its ability to spread to other organs more rapidly if it isn’t treated at an early stage.
She’s speaking from experience, as she was diagnosed with melanoma nearly five years ago.Read More
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While this was the first time cancer infiltrated Tamra’s family, it wasn’t the last. In November 2019, a few years after Tamra’s cancer diagnosis, her now ex-husband Simon Barney told her that he had been diagnosed with throat cancer. The news prompted her to leave the Real Housewives of Orange County after 12 seasons.
“I was a wreck,” Tamra told People about how she felt when Barney shared the news of his diagnosis. “Everyone knew something was going on with me, but I wasn’t telling anyone because Simon had asked me not to. I just wanted to get away from the show and get away from the press and get home to my family.”
The couple was married for 13 years before they split in 2011. They have three children together: daughters Sidney, 23, and Sophia, 16, and son Spencer, 21.
Tamra Judge’s Melanoma Battle
In August 2017, Tamra Judge lifted her short-shorts to show a small lesion on her left butt cheek and shared a sobering message with her Instagram followers.
The star wrote: “I’m showing you this picture because this is what melanoma looks like. I don’t want sympathy, I want you to save YOUR ASS and get your skin checked.”
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Melanoma starts in the same cells that give your skin, hair and eyes their color. However, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation, melanoma is a more dangerous form of skin cancer because of its ability to spread to other organs more rapidly if it isn’t treated at an early stage.
Changes to a mole you have had for a while or a new growth on your skin could be signs of melanoma, according to SurvivorNet experts. Though it’s unlikely these marks are cancer, you’ll want to keep an eye on them and let your doctor know about any changes you notice.
Thankfully, Tamra told her doctor about the mark, because she wrote on Instagram that she never suspected her “small black flat freckle” was cancerous.
How to Protect Your Skin From Skin Cancer
Dr. Dendy Engelman, a board-certified dermatologic surgeon and associate at Manhattan Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery, previously told SurvivorNet that protecting your skin is easy with these simple steps:
- Sun avoidance during peak hours: This means from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. It doesn’t mean you should never go outside during the middle of the day, but make sure you’re protected when you go outdoors.
- Cover your skin and eyes: Wearing a wide brim hat or sunglasses will protect your face, the top of your head, your ears and the delicate skin around your eyes.
- Wear an SPF of 30 or higher: Plenty of facial moisturizers have SPF built into them. Dr. Engelman recommends reapplying every few hours, or after excessive sweating or swimming.
- Get an annual skin check: If you happen to notice anything out of the ordinary in between checks, schedule an appointment to talk to your doctor as soon as possible.
- No-go to tanning beds: Tanning beds can significantly increase your risk of developing melanoma. If you feel like you’re just too pale, Dr. Engelman recommends a sunless tanner.