Diagnosed With Skin Cancer Twice, Oklahoma Mother Shares Her Story
TULSA, Oklahoma - According, to the CDC there were nearly 1,000 new melanoma cases in 2015. Those are the latest numbers released showing the most dangerous form of skin cancer.
Melanoma is the 6th most common form of cancer in Oklahoma. And dermatologists say if it goes untreated it can quickly turn deadly.
Rachel Smith was 30-years-old when she was diagnosed with Basal Cell Carcinoma the most common form of skin cancer.
"At the time I didn't know it was skin cancer. It just appeared as a spot on my face," said Rachel. "It had gotten larger on my face and it was like a wound that wouldn't heal. It would bleed, scab over and it was red and shiny."
Common signs of skin cancer that dermatologist Matt Dohlman says we all need to look for.
"If caught early it is very curable but unfortunately many people delay treatment until it starts causing more serious symptoms then it's much more difficult to treat. Other people who have them before, know what to look for and can recognize them whenever they have it," said Dohlman.
And that's what happened to Rachel a year later at 31 she noticed a spot on her face that also turned out to be cancer but this time it was different she was pregnant with Margaux.
"It just scared me a little bit just knowing I was pregnant so they just used a different approach when they removed it," said Rachel.
Now, fun in the sun looks different for Rachel who takes extra steps to protect her skin and little Margaux's. With SPF lotion all over her body and a hat when they're both outside.
Melanoma is the most deadly form of skin cancer but if caught early it can be removed pretty easily. If not it can spread inside your body causing major issues even death.
Experts recommend everyone receive an annual check-up.