Bravo’s Andy Cohen shared some very serious news on today’s Live With Kelly.
The 48-year-old, who was co-hosting Friday’s show with Ripa, revealed that he had melanoma—the most common and the most serious form of skin cancer.
Ripa’s role? As Cohen explained, she had urged him to go get his lip checked out after seeing a suspicious mark on it.
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“I had a black dot on my bottom lip and you and I were at a party for Anderson’s [Cooper] mom in April, and you said, ‘You have a black dot on your lip, I don’t think that’s something good,’” Cohen told Ripa.
“It was melanoma and they removed it, and I just want to thank you because you were so dogmatic,” he continued. “…The lip heals very well and I really had a chunk removed out of it.”
Cohen also admitted he’s “tanorexic,” but has since switched his thinking about getting UV rays. “I love the sun. And I of course never thought that kind of thing would happen to me, and it will change my relationship to the sun,” Cohen said.
So how common is melanoma? According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), it’s one of the most common cancers in females 15-29, and it’s also the most serious type of skin cancer (which can quickly spread to other parts of the body).
When it comes to melanoma on the lips, specifically, the Skin Cancer Foundation reports that that type of cancer is most commonly found in fair-skinned men over the age of 50, with the lower lip being approximately 12 times more likely to be affected. But, there is some good news: When found and treated early, melanoma—both on the skin and on the lips—is “highly treatable.”
While anyone can get melanoma, your risk increases if you are a sun worshiper or frequent tanning beds. Melanoma typically shows up in an existing mole or looks like a new mole on your skin; dermatologists encourage people to perform skin self-exams to look for any changes.
Of course, like most things, prevention is a big part and, in the case of lips, sunscreen is not to be skipped (that goes for the skin, too!). The AAD recommends applying a lip balm or lipstick that contains sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher every day when outside.