This "Sister Wives" Star Just Revealed She Was Diagnosed With Skin Cancer
"Even if it seems like it couldn't be skin cancer, it doesn't hurt to have your doctor look at it."
So many of us tend to ignore that strange freckle or odd pain we experience every now and then, even though we know better. Now, one of the stars of TLC's longtime series Sister Wives is opening up about the symptom she put off for a year before realizing it was skin cancer. After viewers noticed a growth on her upper lip, Janelle Brown, the second wife of Kody Brown, shared on Instagram that she was diagnosed with skin cancer last year, but thankfully it was not malignant. Read on to see what Janelle said about her health scare and what she hopes others learn from her experience, and for more celebrities hoping to help others by sharing what they've gone through, check out Tony Bennett's Wife Reveals the First Sign He Had Alzheimer's.
Janelle said she first thought the growth was a cold sore.
On Sunday, Mar. 7, the day the current 15th season of Sister Wives airs on TLC, Janelle decided to address fans' concerns. "Many of you have been noticing and reaching out to me about the blemish above my lip in the new episodes," she wrote on Instagram.
Janelle said that at first, about a year ago, she noticed "what looked like a scar develop in an area on [her] lip where all of [her] cold sores for the past two decades have erupted." While she thought it was the same thing bubbling up, the cold sore she diagnosed herself with "never developed and just stayed."
However, she admitted, because it was an area she'd had minor issues with before, "it honestly did not occur to [her] to have it even looked at." And for more symptoms you should never push aside, here's The No. 1 Sign of Poor Health No Woman Should Ever Ignore, Experts Say.
She said it slowly increased in size and she tried to treat it at home.
Janelle let a year go by without consulting a doctor as the growth "slowly increased in size," she wrote. "I started treating it with every scar medication I could find, thinking it was my body reacting to the years of trauma to that area of my face."
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After finally going to the doctor, she was diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma.
Once she finally got checked out, the doctor diagnosed her with basal cell carcinoma, which was luckily not malignant. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, basal cell carcinoma is "the most common form of skin cancer and the most frequently occurring form of all cancers." They report that there are an estimated 4.3 million cases diagnosed in the U.S. annually. According to the organization, this skin cancer can present as an open sore that doesn't heal; a red patch or irritated area on your face, chest, shoulder, arm, or leg; a shiny bump that can be mistaken for a normal mole; a small pink growth with a raised, rolled edge; or a scar-like area that's white, yellow, or waxy.
Janelle said she had her growth removed at the doctor's recommendation and now says "all is well."
"I am posting this picture hopefully for awareness," she wrote with the photo above. And for another cancer this late celebrity was raising awareness about, here are The Symptoms of Pancreatic Cancer Alex Trebek Wanted You to Know.
She's warning others that even if you don't think something could be cancer, you should get it checked out.
Janelle said she was surprised to find out it was skin cancer considering she is "very, very careful to always apply sunscreen." "I have always burned so easily so really cannot go out, ever, without some sort of protection," she said.
Because she never assumed the worst, she hopes fans of the show can learn from her experience and get any potential issues checked out sooner. "I am sharing to say that, even if it seems like it couldn't be skin cancer, it doesn't hurt to have your doctor look at it," she said. And for more information about this kind of cancer, check out 27 Skin Cancer Facts Doctors Wish You Knew About.