Woman describes horror of having melanoma at just 21 after her dermatologist told her the mole on her face ‘looked fine’
- Megan DiDio, 22, of Red Bluff, California, went to the dermatologist to get a mole checked in June 2018
- The dermatologist said the mole ‘looked fine’ but DiDio insisted on a biopsy
- Five weeks later, DiDio learned she had melanoma, or skin cancer
- She underwent surgery to remove the mole in September 2018 and was declared cancer-free
When a mole appeared on Megan DiDio’s left cheek in June 2018, her father urged her to go to the dermatologist to have it checked out.
Her dermatologist said the mole ‘looked fine’, but the then-21-year-old wasn’t convinced and asked that a biopsy be performed, reported Good Morning America.
Five weeks later, after she moved from her hometown of Red Bluff, California, to Chicago, Illinois, her doctor called her with the results: she had melanoma, or skin cancer.
DiDio, now 22, is cancer-free after undergoing surgery to remove the mole and says she hopes her story inspires others to be their own advocates if they believe something is wrong.
Megan DiDio, 22 (left and right), of Red Bluff, California, went to the dermatologist to get a mole checked in June 2018 at her father’s insistence. Her dermatologist said the mole ‘looked fine’, but DiDio asked that a biopsy be performed
Five weeks later, after DiDio (pictured) moved to Chicago, Illinois, for a new job, her doctor called her with the results: she had melanoma, or skin cancer
DiDio told Good Morning America that she doesn’t have any family history of melanoma and grew up putting on sunscreen diligently.
‘I definitely wore sunscreen the majority of the time I was outside,’ she said.
‘Being that I am pale and have red hair, my parents were always good about keeping me lathered up, but I did have burns as a kid growing up.’
DiDio said she didn’t think the mole on her cheek was unusual, but her father thought it looked abnormal and urged her to get it checked out.
Her dermatologist said it ‘looked fine’ but DiDio asked if the mole could be biopsied because she was about to move to Chicago for a new job.
About five weeks later, she learned that the mole was cancerous.
Melanoma begins in the melanocytes, a type of skin cell that makes melanin and gives skin a tan or brown color.
The American Cancer Society estimates that more than 96,000 people will be diagnosed with melanoma in the US in 2019 and that more than 7,200 will die.
Skin cancer is the most common cancer and – although melanoma only accounts for one percent of skin cancers – it causes the majority of skin cancer deaths.
However, the five-year survival rate from diagnosis for localized, early melanoma is more than 98 percent.
Doctors removed DiDio’s mole in September, which left her with a scar and in need of partial facial reconstruction, but she’s been cancer-free ever since. Pictured: DiDio with a friend on her back
DiDio (pictured) is now cancer-free and says she hopes to inspire others be their own advocate when it comes to their health
‘I got the news and it was awful to say the least,’ DiDio told Good Morning America.
‘I had just graduated from college, moved to a new city – this was supposed to be my time to kind of start fresh and start my real life…and to know that this was a serious, life-threatening issue that I now had to deal with as a young adult was terrible.’
Doctors removed DiDio’s mole in September, which left her with a scar and in need of partial facial reconstruction, but she’s been cancer-free ever since.
DiDio visits the dermatologist for skin checks every three months and wants to inspire others to be their own advocate if they believe something is wrong.
‘I just want people to know you need to get checked if you have any suspicions that something is changing on your body,’ she told Good Morning America.
‘It was something as slight as the mole I had for my entire life changing color. But that’s happening to people all the time.’
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