Thank you for sharing Mr. Murphy's story.
My first introduction to melanoma was over 40 years ago, when my then 30 year old brother in law developed it. He battled it for many years as it traveled through his body. Luckily, each time he was able to have surgery to remove the tumor. He even had brain surgery twice when it landed there. Sadly, when a tumor got entangled in his groin, his journey ended.
My next experience was with my brother. He developed melanoma on his back. I believe it was stage 2. Thankfully, it was all removed and he hasn't had any more signs of melanoma in about 10 years.
My own diagnoses came last May. I was having my annual skin check up. There was a teeny brown dot on my big toe. It looked like all the other spots I have. For some reason I showed it to the doctor. She told me a person my age (62 yo), usually does not get any new beauty marks on areas like the feet. She biopsied it and it was melanoma.
I quickly made an appointment with a surgeon to have it removed. Thankfully, I had clear margins. I was told by the surgeon that this kind of melanoma can be found at or in any orifice.
After the surgery, I made appointments with my gynecologist, dentist, new dermatologist and foot doctor for complete and thorough check-ups. I now see each of them every 6 months to make sure there are no changes. I see my dermatologist next week for my 1 year check up.
I live in Florida, so my daily habits have changed. Each day I use a product with an SPF of 30 on my exposed skin, including my face.