Updated August 29, 2017
After undergoing a skin cancer scare back in January that led to surgery to remove cancerous legions, Real Housewives of Orange County star Tamra Judge has revealed that she has had another melanoma diagnosis.
Although her surgical margins came back clear in a pathology report following her surgery in January, Judge recently had a freckle checked out on her buttocks that turned out to be cancerous. She posted an image of her freckle as a way to urge fans to get their skin checked. “I’m showing you this picture because this is what melanoma looks like,” wrote the reality star. “I don’t want sympathy, I want you to save YOUR ASS and get your skin checked. This was just a small black freckle, I had no idea!”
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She also revealed that she was planning on competing in another body building competition again, but may be putting those plans on hold in light of this recent diagnoses. But the star isn’t letting this recent setback hold her down. She’s optimistic and says she’s pleased with the timing of this discovery. “I’ve been a little sad, worried and pissed off. But we caught it early and that makes me happy.”
Originally published January 19, 2017
For an entire season of the Real Housewives of Orange County, the women on the show squabbled over rumors surrounding the validity of Vicki Gunvalson’s boyfriend’s cancer diagnosis. One of the cast members to question Brook Ayer’s cancer claims was Tamra Judge, a longtime OC housewife known for her outspoken persona. Now, Judge is publicly sharing the details of her own skin cancer diagnosis to urge fans to get a skin cancer screening and spread a message that might save lives.
In a series of Instagram posts, the Bravo star shows how a skin cancer screening can lead to an early detection and diagnoses of skin cancer. It started with two atypical spots found on her arm and leg. “Let’s do this. Dr. Litchfield… having two spots cut out today. Get your skin checked my friends it could save your life,” wrote Judge.
In a follow up post, she shared the results of her biopsies on the two suspicious lesions. “All done. Get your skin checked. The arm spot was a squamous cell skin cancer and the leg was a moderately atypical mole.”
According to the American Cancer Society, more than five million cases of basal and squamous cell skin cancers (nonmelanoma) are diagnosed each year. Although less aggressive than melanoma, if left untreated a squamous carcinoma could spread to the lymph nodes or nearby organs and becoming life-threatening. Thankfully for Judge, her dermatologist was able to catch it early and remove the squamous cell skin cancer from her arm.
So how often should you go in for a skin check? According to Fresno, CA, dermatologist Kathleen Behr, MD, once a year should do it. “I recommend an annual full body exam for most patients,” advises Dr. Behr. “If you have a history of skin cancer, such as melanoma, you should get checked every three months for the first year, then every 6 months for the following year and then annually.”
As far as the screening goes, it’s a relatively pain-free process. “A skin cancer screening involves visually checking the entire skin surface for any suspicious lesions,” says Dr. Behr. “If a lesion looks atypical it is examined with a dermatoscope, an instrument that magnifies the lesion 10-times. If the lesion is suspicious when examined, it is then biopsied.” If you spots on your that have changed or appear different from the others, the American Academy of Dermatology recommends that you make an appointment with a board-certified dermatologist.
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