Skin Cancer Personal Stories: Kristi

True Stories from Real People

Kathi is a mother of twin girls, both of whom enjoyed using tanning salons in their teen years. There's no history of skin cancer or other forms of cancer in the family so 20-year-old Kristi's melanoma diagnosis came as a severe shock to her mother. Kathi tells her daughter's story here:

"My daughter Kristi was 20 years old when she was diagnosed. All through high school she used tanning salons. She has an identical twin sister who also used tanning salons. Because of their identical genetic make-up, her sister goes for regular check ups. Thankfully, she has had moles removed but none were malignant melanoma (MM).

Kristi was in school at the time she was diagnosed in January 2000. Her derm is convinced that tanning bed usage was the cause of her MM. How her diagnosis came about was really strange. It was around Christmas and one of her classmates was very sad. She explained that her Mom had died from a cancerous mole several years ago. Kristi came home and told me she wanted to get her moles checked out...of course I asked why? She had no symptoms etc. I called my GP and he recommended a derm. We had an appointment for the first week of January 2000. Kristi was in her underwear, he did a body check and all looked good. Then Kristi remembered a mole under her left breast. He looked at it and said: "That one looks suspicious - I am going to punch biopsy it".  He removed it on a Friday and on Monday we got the news, MM. Thankfully, it was thin and the prognosis was good. We made an appointment with a plastic surgeon. and a week later she had her wide local excision. All the margins were clear and both the surgeon and derm were very happy with the results. She required no further treatment. 

Kristi has been very lucky and we thank God for that. I don't think her prognosis would have been as favorable had she not gone when she did. She just had a baby girl in December 2004.

Life has been good but malignant melanoma is not very far from our thoughts...she takes a lot of precautions and tries to educate as many people as she can. Some people do not even know what malignant melanoma is or they think it is "JUST" skin cancer.

They do not realize that it is the deadliest form of skin cancer and kills one person every hour."


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