When celebrities and other influencers confront cancer scares, they often take to social media to share the news with fans. In doing so, they send valuable messages about the need for transparency when it comes to disease, and about the importance of cancer screening and prevention.
Here are just some who’ve taken their cancer scares public in recent months, helping others to be conscious of warnings signs and to take any changes in their bodies seriously.
Caitlyn Jenner: ‘Wear Your Sunblock’Read More
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Melissa Joan Hart: ‘Get Your Mammogram!’
Actor Melissa Joan Hart posted a teary message on Instagram after a mammogram prompted a call-back from her doctor for another round of testing. “It was a little nerve-wracking, but everything’s good,” the “Sabrina the Teenage Witch” star reported. “It’s all clear, so I’m glad I did what I had to do.” Hart, 43, who has three children, offered her own PSA for fans: “Reminder to all women over 35- get your mammogram!!”
Tamara Judge: ‘Get Your Skin Checked’
Tamara Judge from “Real Housewives of Orange County” sent a sobering message to her Instagram followers when she lifted her short-shorts to show a small lesion on her left cheek. 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.”
After she underwent surgery to remove the mole, she updated fans with a photo of her stitches. Now clear of her melanoma-scare. Judge told fans to schedule a full-body skin check with a dermatologist: “This was just a small black flat freckle…. I had no idea!”
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I work out ???? hard for this Booty. I was planning on competing again in November at 50 years old, but I’m not sure that’s happening ???? now. it looks like God has a different plan for me. Im 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 . This was just a small black flat freckle…. I had no idea! Ill be fine because my faith is strong and my Ass ain’t bad either???? Thank you @cacoastalderm ❤️. I’ve been a little sad , worried and pissed off. But we caught it early and that makes me happy ???? Happy birthday to me. #saveyourass birthday party in Cabo not sounding like a good idea now ???? #awareness.#skincheck
Bethenny Frankel: ‘Know Your Body’
“Real Housewives of New York City” star Bethenny Frankel, who is also founder of Skinnygirl Cocktails, had a skin cancer scare that prompted Mohs surgery to remove a small growth on her face. Mohs surgery is an effective way to treat treating many basal cell carcinomas (BCCs) and squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs), according to the Skin Cancer Foundation, and it’s done in stages, including lab work, while the patient waits. “This allows the removal of all cancerous cells for the highest cure rate while sparing healthy tissue and leaving the smallest possible scar,” it says.
Frankel’s was confirmed to be the most common form of skin cancer: basal cell carcinoma. “I am extremely lucky to have caught it in time, and it just goes to show you have to know your body and be very aware of any changes,” she told People magazine. “This was a sharp reminder why it is so important that I religiously wear large hats to cover my face and reapply sunscreen.”
Jamie Otis: Empathy and Love
“I got the call today saying that my doc did see dysplasia & since I’m pregnant we will have to wait to biopsy my cervix until after I have the baby.”
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I have a rainbow baby in my arms & a rainbow baby in my belly.????????????????I’ve never felt more *BLESSED*!????????????…and the way Gracie girl is hugging her baby brother in the last two pics.???? #meltmyheart ???? • In other news, I went to the doc and heard my pap was bad & I have HPV. Although it sounds like an STD and I should freak the F out, I know this is somewhat common and not to be overly worried about. I was scheduled to have a colposcopy just to take a better look at the skin cells in my vagina.????Also, not really a big deal as long as the doc doesn’t see dysplasia…if she does then it could be a sign of early cancer.???? I took a video while I was at the doctors getting the colposcopy-I put the link to our @hotmarriagecoolparents YouTube page in my bio if you wanna watch. At that point I didn’t know whether to worry or not. It could be absolutely nothing. • Buuut, I got the call today saying that my doc did see dysplasia & since I’m pregnant we will have to wait to biopsy my cervix until after I have the baby. • My head’s been all over the place. Thoughts go from “I’m sure I’m fine. I had this with Gracie too.” But then I can’t help but wonder, “What if?!”???? • I’ve had two friends reach out to me. One was like, “oh you’ll be fine. So many friends had this.”???????? Another said, “I may have to have a hysterectomy after they found that in me bc I have actual cancer now.”???? • So I just have to wait until after I have the baby to really know what’s going on inside me, but I’m just putting the positive vibes out there & praying & being so THANKFUL for my health.???????? • I couldn’t help but think about all the women who are pregnant and find out super scary news like they actually do have cancer or a fatal disease and they’re left with the tough decision: treat yourself while pregnant to save your life but risk losing the baby OR take your chances and postpone treatment to save your baby.???? I cannot even imagine having to make that decision.???? My heart goes out to those mamas. If you’re one of them, I’m sending you SO MUCH LOVE.???? • • • #rainbowbaby #pregnancyupdate #secondtrimester #pregnancystyle #bump #pregnancy #pregnantbelly #pregnancyafterloss #preggo
Choose the Right Sunscreen and Use It Often
Ninety percent of melanomas are caused by ultraviolet radiation from the sun. That means you’re at risk if you spent excessive amounts of time in the sun – even as a child. If you ever got scalding sunburns, or were a fan of tanning salons, it’s important to get your skin checked out.
Many people slather on sunscreen every day, but if you’re not choosing the right type or not using enough, it may not be working. Dr. Cecilia Larocca, a dermatologist at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, recommends you use no less than SPF 30 and reapply it every two hours. Your sunscreen should also be broad spectrum, says Dr. Larocca, meaning it covers both UVB and UVA rays.