A few years ago I’d heard, correctly, that Stanford offers free skin cancer screenings once a year. Since people I knew including my mom had had suspicious moles removed, and as I have lots of freckles and some moles it seemed like a good idea to go. All was good, yet they recommended especially as someone with fair skin that I consider getting annual screens. A few weeks ago something reminded me of that opportunity and I saw to my surprise it was coming up soon. So on June 3rd, prior to celebrating Candy’s birthday with her, I was able to get in another free cancer screening.
Though it was crowded when I went years ago, I had thought perhaps if I was there a half hour early or so I would be one of a handful of people in line. Apparently many people had the idea and over two and a half dozen people were in line ahead of me.
Still, I was told that they had many doctors there that day and it would go quickly. Since I’ve been told to tell all medical professionals I’m pregnant I told the registration nurse. She told me to note it on the form, but there wasn’t any space to put in medical information not asked for. I ended up just writing it in next to the signature block.
The doctor began by asking if I had any moles I wanted checked out. I did and showed her four all on my torso including one that I had to move the cup on my bra to show her. (I’d worn a nursing bra to make this easy. Though I may go up cup sizes later in pregnancy, she told me this was good practice for now to wear one now and again.) She asked if the moles had gotten bigger and since two including that one and one on my stomach had gotten bigger I told her they had, but that the whole areas had become bigger during my pregnancy. She looked at them all with a device to make them look larger to her eye and said they and all the freckles looked good. She mentioned when the looked regular and like others on the body (calling them family and son and daughter moles and freckles) they were most likely fine as mine appeared to be.
Some people who received the screening were referred for future exams including possible biopsies. I am lucky in that all appeared normal, and according to the doctor most people receiving the screening get the same result. Still, she gave me the expected directions to wear sunscreen when out and return again next year. As I’ll be a parent in just five months, these are both excellent pieces of advice that I will be following.