After Basal Cell Carcinoma, Ali Fedotwoski-Manno Takes Precautions
- A 2019 biopsy found mole on her belly was cancerous
- To minimize risk of recurrence, she sees dermatologist every 3-6 months
- Wears sunscreen daily, year-round, even on cloudy, rainy days
- Reapplies often, keeping sunscreen in purse, emergency bag, by the door
And for her, regular visits to the dermatologist for skin-checks have become routine. “I just now have to be very vigilant about checking my skin,” she said. “Because once you have one basal cell, you’re more likely to have more.”
Sunscreen, Even “If It’s Raining”
She’s faithful about applying sun protection — whether she’s heading outdoors or not. “I use sunscreen every single day. If it’s raining outside, I’m putting on sunscreen. If it’s cloudy outside, I’m putting on sunscreen.”
Dr. Cecila Larocca on the ABCDEs of checking moles for signs of skin cancer.
“Not only do I put it on before my moisturizer and makeup, but it’s also in my makeup,” she explained in her People interview.
“I also have right by the door. I have it right by my purse. I have it in my earthquake emergency bag in my car,” she said. “I have it everywhere. Even if I don’t think I’m going outside, I still put it on.”
“My Dermatologist Used The C-Word!”
In January, Fedotwoski-Manno shared news of her skin cancer diagnosis on Instagram (below): “Swipe to the third pic to see what my mole looked like before I got the biopsy done (so you know what to look for).”
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GET YOUR SKIN CHECKED. A couple weeks ago I found out I have skin cancer. When my dermatologist used the c-word, I just about fainted in his office. Thankfully, the type of skin cancer I have is rarely fatal and really never fatal when you catch it early. It’s called Basal cell carcinoma. Swipe to the third pic to see what my mole looked like before I got the biopsy done (so you know what to look for). It’s on the left side of my body. The scar right above my belly button is from when I had cells/skin that may be cancerous removed six months ago. Needless to say, i’m never exposing my stomach to sun without sunscreen again! . . Basal cell carcinoma is super common. The most common skin cancer. You probably know someone who has it. So it’s no big deal. But what IS a big deal is not treating it and treating it early. That is why going to a dermatologist and getting your skin checked every year is SO important (I now go every 3/6 months). The VERY first thing I did when I got diagnosed was text my family on a group text urging them all to get their skin checked. So I’m doing the same for all of you, my extended family, right here and right now. I’m lucky it wasn’t melanoma. And I’m lucky that I caught it early. Moving forward I plan on making it a priority of mine to use the best natural products on my skin and be rigorous about applying sunscreen and reminding all of you to do the same! I love you guys! Take care of yourselves! #skincancer #skincancerawareness #skincancerprevention #basalcellcarcinoma #basalcell #skincheck
“When my dermatologist used the c-word,” she added. “I just about fainted in his office.”
“It’s a scary word to hear no matter how treatable it is when you go into your dermatologist office,” she tells PEOPLE of her skin cancer diagnosis and the carcinoma’s subsequent removal.
“I didn’t get my skin checked for the first 33 years of my life, so I just think it’s important to spread awareness and tell people to go get check your skin checked because this is very common,” she shares. Basal cell carcinoma is the most common form of skin cancer.
An Irregularly-Shaped Mole
“The VERY first thing I did when I got diagnosed,” Fedotowski-Manno wrote, “was text my family on a group text urging them all to get their skin checked.” Next, she alerted her ‘extended family’ on social media.
“Basal cell carcinoma is super common,” she said. “The most common skin cancer. You probably know someone who has it. So it’s no big deal. But what IS a big deal is not treating it and treating it early.”
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Monday funday?! That’s totally a thing now right? 👍🏻 or 👎🏻 ☀️ Either way, we smiled, swam, ate and laughed our way through this Monday out in the sun! ☀️ So needless to say, we were covered in @Coppertoneusa from head to toe and put it on every single morning! #sponsored ☀️ Telling you guys to do the same is about so much more than just suggesting you to buy a product. It’s about using something on yourself and your family that could potentially save your life. And this truly means a lot to me to share after my basal cell carcinoma diagnosis. Coppertone Pure & Simple Baby is 100% mineral sunscreen with zinc oxide as the active ingredient. It’s free of parabens, free of synthetic dyes, and doesn’t have fragrances. And quite honestly, it just applies super easily! Which isn’t always the case with mineral sunscreens because they can be thick like paste – not this one! So take care of yourselves out there while enjoying the sun this summer! And of course take care of each other.🙋🏼♀️ 😘 So Monday’s are totally fun now right? 😉 #wishfulthinking #sunprotection #familytime #mineralsunprotection #CoppertonePureandSimple #summerisstillon
Dermatologist? “I Go Every 3/6 Months”
For patients who have completed basal cell carcinoma treatment, it’s crucial to watch your skin closely, according to the American Cancer Society. Along with the risk of the cancer returning, people who have had skin cancer are also at high risk for developing other skin cancers, so close follow-up is important.
“Going to a dermatologist and getting your skin checked every year is SO important (I now go every 3/6 months),” Fedotowski-Manno says.
Like other celebrities and influencers who confront cancer scares, Fedotwoski-Manno often takes to social media to share the news with fans. In doing so, she sends available messages about the need for transparency when it comes to skin cancer, and about the importance of cancer screening and prevention.
“I’m lucky it wasn’t melanoma,” she continued. “And I’m lucky that I caught it early.”
Skin Cancer Checklist:
Doing regular self-checks on your skin is important to find skin cancer early. If you’re high-risk, it’s especially vital. Dr. Cecilia Larocca, a dermatologist at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, recommends looking at your skin once a month for anything suspicious–and using the acronym ABCDE as a checklist:
- Asymmetrical moles: if you drew a line straight down the center of the mole, would the sides match?
- Borders: irregular, jagged, not smooth; can also stand for bleeding
- Colors: multiple distinct colors in the mole
- Diameter: larger than 6mm, about the size of a pencil head eraser
- Evolution: This may be the most important, anything that is changing over time such as gaining color, losing color, painful, itching, hurting, changing shape, etc…