I loved sunbathing as a teenager – now I have ‘brutal’ skin cancer

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May 13, 2023 | 3:57 p.m.


#skincancer #skincancerawareness #skincancercheck #beauty #foryoupage #foryou #photodynamictherapy #melanoma #scc #bcc #ninawines #australiansun #tan #lookafteryourself #notworthit #pain #ouch #burn @DermDoctor | Dr Shah@

♬ original sound – Melissa Lewis

An Australian woman claims to have been diagnosed with three different types of skin cancer since 2009, sharing her “brutal” journey on TikTok.

“It’s the real face of skin cancer,” Melissa Lewis, 48, said in a viral clip as she showed off her bright red, blistered skin after undergoing carbon dioxide laser photodynamic therapy. carbon.

She revealed that her eyes finally opened after being swollen, but they were still a bit blurry. She put a muffler over her nose so she could wear her glasses.

“Everyone just has to protect their skin,” Lewis insisted. “A tan is not good for anyone. I wish I had known 30 years ago when we really didn’t know about sun safety.

The mother-of-four remembers spending hours burning in the sun trying to get a tan as a child.

“It’s the real face of skin cancer,” Melissa Lewis, 48, said in a viral TikTok clip.

“Take care, everyone,” Lewis advised in the video, which has garnered 2.7 million views since it was posted in February.

Lewis then posted an update on TikTok to show how her skin was doing 10 days after the intense treatment.

It was still slightly pink, but rid of the peeling.

“It’s been a brutal week,” she captioned the clip.

“It’s still red, but oh my God. What a difference,” exclaimed Lewis. “But guess what, he’s still here.”

She explained that the “skin cancer is still hidden behind the surface” of her skin and that she still had “quite a few lesions” that needed a biopsy, but the treatment was showing promising results.

Lewis says she will have to undergo carbon dioxide laser photodynamic therapy once a year for the rest of her life, as it is “the only way to keep skin cancer at bay”.

” Protect yourself. Stay strong. Stay healthy,” she encouraged her viewers.

“Everyone just has to protect their skin,” insisted Lewis, admitting to spending summers as a child sunbathing without taking precautions.

The Post has reached out to Lewis for comment.

The bespectacled redhead told the Daily Mail that her skin cancer had never revealed itself with classic symptoms such as a ‘questionably looking mole’ – but instead showed up as flaky skin or uneven skin tone.

“I had melanoma, and it didn’t look like anything at all. In fact, it took two dermatologists to diagnose it. They needed to look at my face under a microscope to try and find it,” she told the outlet.

She claims dermatologists found lesions on her body from 2009 to 2018; she was later diagnosed with breast cancer, which forced her to take a year off from skin cancer treatments; and she nearly died of sepsis after a gynecological procedure went wrong.

After a decade of traumatic medical conditions, it’s skin cancer that still haunts Lewis the most – prompting him to share his journey with others online.

“A tan isn’t good for anyone. I wish I had known 30 years ago when we really didn’t know about sun safety,” she continued.

She said doctors found basal cell carcinoma on the side of her nose, shoulder and upper chest.

They also reportedly biopsied a suspicious lesion on his forehead which turned out to be Bowen’s disease, an early form of skin cancer also known as squamous cell carcinoma.

Worse still, surgeons removed some melanoma from her ear, which had to be reconstructed.

“It was a total shock because that word is synonymous with cancer – it’s the next level because a melanoma has reached the deepest layer of the skin and is about to invade it,” said- she explained.

“I was very lucky because it was caught during the Stage 0 phase – it hadn’t invaded the bloodstream yet.”

She says annual photodynamic therapy treatments help her maintain her health.

“Take care, everyone,” she advises TikTokers.

Photodynamic daylight therapy involves drugs called photosensitizers and light to kill cancer cells.

Lewis likens the procedure to “scratching the skin’s surface like sandpaper” to exfoliate it. The skin is burned and peeling for several days.

“It’s been a real journey, and my confidence has been shaken because your face is how you present yourself to the world,” she admitted.

She wished she had simply taken better care of her skin as a teenager and worn sunscreen.

“Looking back now, if I could have a moment to put my younger self aside, I’d say – ‘Listen to what you’re doing now might be fun, but you’re going to pay for it in the future. And it could cost you your life,” Lewis said.

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