WTOP News – Melanoma is the most common and deadly form of skin cancer in the U.S. On what dermatologists call Melanoma Monday, a twice-diagnosed survivor has a message.
“Anybody can get melanoma; anybody can get skin cancer. Bob Marley died from melanoma,” said 34-year-old Liz Hazuka of Reston, Virginia.
Hazuka has fair skin, red hair and freckles. Her first bout with melanoma occurred when she was 25 years old, It was found during a routine check at the dermatologist’s office.
“Luckily, I found it early,” she said. “My first one was a little bit invasive. It was a stage 1A. Luckily, I just needed a wide local excision. There was just a surgery. So, I have about a 4-inch scar on my right calf.”
Hazuka’s second melanoma was caught even earlier. She said the experience of having to mitigate the cancer has changed her life.
The melanoma that killed Reggae icon Bob Marley first appeared as a dark spot under his toe nail
“I never go in the sun without sunscreen and long sleeves. I really avoid the sun in the midday peak; my beach days, going there all day, are behind me,” she said.
Hazuka said she became so passionate about helping people avoid being late diagnosed with melanoma that she changed career paths and is now studying to become a physician assistant.
“I have a year-and-a-half left to go. And I hope to one day be working in dermatology,” she said.
Hazuka said she worries about people who might be putting themselves at risk unnecessarily.
“I think especially for young women. There’s this pressure to look a certain way, and to go out tanning, go into a tanning booth or lay out in the sun all day. But not only can it increase your risk of skin cancer, but it also ages your skin a lot faster,” she said.
Although extremely rare, melanoma also can present under the bed of a fingernail, Friedman said. The melanoma that killed Reggae icon Bob Marley first appeared as a dark spot under his toe nail … read more.