Sinclair Cares: U-V awareness month
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (CBS12) —
A month before their 30th wedding anniversary Lisa Captain lost her husband to skin cancer.
With a fair complexion, the Air Force veteran went to the dermatologist every six months, and was always careful, especially in the Florida sun.
"And then he found a bump on his chest" according to Lisa. "It was more like a bug bite or a little zit that didn't clear up, and he kept saying oh it's fine, I was just there, I'll go at my next scheduled appointment."
But when the next appointment rolled around, it was too late. Steve was diagnosed with melanoma, and it had already spread to his lymph nodes.
Dr. Sean Branch of Henghold Skin Health and Surgery Group is not surprised how fast skin cancer cases can advance.
"I wish I could tell you it's all too common that we see people months and months if not years after I wish I could have had them come into the clinic to take a look and see what's going on," said Henghold.
He continues by saying most melanomas fit the guidelines called "A-B-C-D-E". Watch for a growth that is asymmetrical, has border irregularity, color that is not uniform, diameter greater than a pencil eraser , or is evolving in size shape or color.
There are exceptions to this rule, but generally it is a good rule to follow.
Steve Captain survived two and a half years after finding the melanoma, but the cancer moved to his lungs and eventually his brain.
"The toughest part is he's not going to be around to walk my daughter down the aisle. And he's not going to be there to be a grandpa, we were supposed to be grandparents together" said Lisa.
The best way to reduce your risk of cancer is applying sunscreen. Doctors suggest you apply it 15 minutes before you get in the water.
The correct amount is two to four ounces which is approximately the size of a golf ball.