33-year-old woman decided to speak publicly and share her skin cancer story with everyone in an effort to encourage others to be mindful of how their skin looks and seek help if they notice some not-that-familiar changes on their skin. This story is yet another reminder that everyone should visit their primary care physicians on a regular basis because even the most serious diseases can be treated in most of the cases if they are discovered and treated on time.
Megan Fry is a 33 years old woman who was diagnosed with skin cancer after she noticed that a simple mole on her neck suddenly looked blistered and turned black. The changes she noticed happened overnight, in a matter of hours, and in the morning, she knew that she will have to see a dermatologist as soon as possible. Fry knew the changes on her skin require urgency, but she had hard times to schedule an appointment since she had recently moved to her new Minn. based home.
Speaking to Today, Fry explains how a local practice offered her to send them a photo of the mole she was talking about in order to determine the urgency of the condition. “Medicine has advanced so much as well as technology that anyone has the capacity or the opportunity to be seen by a physician sooner rather than later,” Fry told Today.
At the time, Fry had to wait for at least 3-4 months to get an appointment, but after she sent a photo of her mole to Twin Cities Dermatology Center through the Miiskin app, she was scheduled an appointment immediately. “It was very clear to me it was basal cell,” Dr. Margareth Pierre-Louis later told Today. “The goal of telehealth is not to diagnose the patient and leave them on their own. It really is trying to see how we can get them … the care they need. And that’s where it was successful.”
Few days later, Fry visited the office and Pierre-Louis excised the spot because she felt it was basal cell cancer and wanted to treated Fry quickly. “We just removed the skin from her neck area,” Pierre-Louis said. Few days later when the pathology results were ready, it was revealed that it was basal cell cancer. Dr. Pierre-Louis said that she is happy that Fry is now cancer free, but reminds everyone that basal cell is the most common cancer on earth, the most common skin cancer, making up at least 55% of skin cancers.
As a daughter of a man who died due to skin cancer when she was 10, Fry has been dedicated in keeping her skin as healthy as possible and she was following every single change on her skin her entire life. More than two decades ago, her father was diagnosed with skin cancer and despite several cancer removals, he died soon after doctors learned that his melanoma was “relatively invasive”.
Since she was young, Fry has had a lot of moles and freckles and she was very often visiting her dermatologist for preventive care. She says that until her mid-twenties, most of her early biopsies were benign, but then the results started to change. “My biopsy results unfortunately started coming back with more malignancy,” she said. “I’ve had two basal cell and one squamous cell excision within the last eight years.”
Doctors were surprised that she has had so many skin cancers at a young age, but Fry knew that she had that genetic predisposition. Fry already knew exactly what her went through, but she later discovered that her paternal grandmother also had skin cancer so she suspects that her skin condition has something to do with her family history.
Fry wanted to share her story with the public and raise awareness about skin cancer and skin care. She wants everyone to know how a simple mole can let people know they have serious skin problems. In addition, Fry believes others will find her story helpful and will be encouraged to take protective measures such as wearing sunscreen and covering up outdoors.