Louise Hay is a lifestyle blogger from Sydney, Australia.
Her father was the Founder and Chairman of Hayco, a company that makes cleaning tools for the home, car, and industrial uses.
Donald Hay died on July 17, 2019, from melanoma at the age of 76.
Cancer of the skin is the most common of all cancers by a long shot. Melanoma accounts for only about 1% of skin cancers but causes a large majority of skin cancer deaths.
The American Cancer Society’s estimates for melanoma in the United States for 2020 are :
- About 100,350 new melanomas will be diagnosed (about 60,190 in men and 40,160 in women).
- About 6,850 people are expected to die of melanoma (about 4,610 men and 2,240 women).
Following the death of her father, Louise vowed to keep an eye on her moles and raise awareness about Melanoma.
When Louise found a tiny mole on her leg that looked like a small freckle, she was shocked when it turned out to be Melanoma. She took to social media to warn others and encourage them to get moles checked routinely.
"I never thought it would have happened to me until my dad got diagnosed last year," she said in her Instagram story. "It's crazy to think I never would have gone for a skin check and I never would have found the Melanoma had my dad not gotten sick. It's like he's still looking after me from up there - it blows my mind."
She later adds "I know everyone thinks they're invincible and it's never going to happen to them but please go and get your skin checked. If you catch it early, it's fine."
Below is the image she shared of a tiny mole on her leg that ended up being cancerous.
She follows that post with an afterimage that shows just how much skin they needed to remove. Doctors needed to cut out the mole and send it to be tested.
"Last week was my one year check up and they found a little mole on my leg which they removed and sent off to get checked, to find out what it was, and yesterday I found out it was a melanoma."
Doctors told Louise that her mole was a grade zero. When melanoma is Stage 0, sometimes referred to as ‘melanoma in situ,’ cancer cells have breached only the epidermis (the very outer layer of the skin).
"I didn't see that there was anything wrong with that particular mole - it just looked like a freckle to me, honestly, it was so small."
"The place that I go to does skin mapping, so they take a picture of every single mole on your body, and in the next appointment they do the exact same thing and they compare it and that's how they can check if there have been any changes."
Many doctors also recommend that you check your own skin about once a month. Look at your skin in a well-lit room in front of a full-length mirror. Use a hand-held mirror to look at areas that are hard to see. Use the “ABCDE rule”, which you can read about here .