Rob’s Melanoma Story

“It had been a few years since I had seen my doctor here at Dermatology Specialists. I know I am supposed to come in every year for my annual skin exam, but I hadn’t. During my recent exam, my doctor found a spot on my face that he said we needed to take a closer look at and that he wanted to do a biopsy, instead of just freeze this little spot off – so he did. A few days later, I got a call from him personally, letting me know that what they found was actually skin cancer. And in this case, it was melanoma. I have to admit hearing it was melanoma really scared me. He walked me through what his plan was for me and carefully explained how we were going to treat my melanoma. The decision was made to treat my melanoma using a procedure called “Slow Mohs.” He assured me that because of the point where we caught the cancer, he strongly felt it could be removed completely, and the problem would be solved. This was very reassuring. I also felt very confident in his ability, knowing that he has performed over 20,000 skin cancer procedures.

My team let me know the Slow Mohs procedure has gained near-universal acceptance among skin cancer specialists as one of the definitive surgical procedures for the complete removal for my type of melanoma. The big advantage of Slow Mohs over the standard local excision is a 5-year cure rate of almost 100%.

So in I went for Slow Mohs, and I am happy to report that I am now melanoma free. I sure am glad I went in to see my doctor that day. The advice I now share with everyone willing to listen is to make sure they take the time to cover up in the sun and always wear sunscreen during outdoor activities. Unfortunately, I did not do this when I was younger and obviously paid the price. I can’t stress enough how critical it is to take the time to have an annual skin exam – regardless of age and regardless of the color of your skin – because we’re all at risk. For me, I just can’t imagine missing out on seeing my grandchildren grow up!

This was my wake up call on just how important an annual skin exam can be. Please let it be a reminder to all of you reading my story.”

Rob N. is a patient of Dermatology Specialists of Florida and was treated by Dr. Jon Ward.