Check Those Freckles!

| October 17, 2008 | 0 Comments

Some of you may have read my last blog, “Sunscreen,” where I discussed my recent visit to the dermatologist and the importance of reminding our students to wear sunscreen even though the weather is turning cooler.

The dermatologist called yesterday to give me my test results for the two freckles that he biopsied.  I want to reiterate that these were just freckles, less than the size of a pencil eraser.  They weren’t raised and they had been there a while – they weren’t ANYTHING I was concerned about.

Well, one of them did turn out to be a melanoma…not a word ANY of us want to hear.  Luckily it was a “melanoma in situ” which means it is localized and has not spread.  I looked it up online and found that it’s considered “stage 0″ and completely curable.  Chances are, they already removed the entire melanoma with the biopsy they did last week.  But, just to be cautious I have to go back to have more of the surrounding skin removed by a plastic surgeon.

So why am I sharing all of this personal information?

Because I suspect that I’m not the only coach out there who has spent their life loving this activity and out in the sun for sometimes 12 – 16 hours days on a marching field.  Most people I know don’t have physicals regularly and many have never been to a dermatologist.  If you fall into this category or if you have had sunburns in the past (anytime in your life) it’s a good idea to just go to a dermatologist and have things checked out.

Again, the freckle that turned out to be melanoma for me WASN’T a scary looking freckle…it was just darker than most of the other ones.

Please take care of yourselves and if you’ve been putting off that trip to the dermatologist – make the appointment today.  It wasn’t the best news to have to hear – but it certainly was much better than what could have happened if I had waited!   (And don’t worry!  The initial biopsy really didn’t hurt at all – and I’m a bit of a wimp!).

Take Care!



Category: Instruction, Latest News, safety

About the Author (Author Profile)

Catina Anderson is the founder/editor of the Colorguard Educators blog. Color guard has been part of her life for almost 25 years. She began coaching in 1994 and worked with the Broad Run High School color guard in Northern VA from 1998 until 2010. She has also written for Halftime Magazine and served on the Executive Board of the Atlantic Indoor Association. A former teacher, she enjoys sharing what she has learned and hopes to encourage others to share as well. Together we can create even more positive experiences for performers and help to collectively strengthen marching arts activities worldwide.

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