Spotlight On Skin Cancer
When avid outdoorsman and golfer Thomas Pierce recognized the signs of a developing skin cancer, Beebe Healthcare was there to support him from diagnosis through recovery.
Tom has had multiple spots removed on his skin due to basal cell and squamous skin cancers throughout his life. But when he noticed an itchy spot on his back that seemed to have a lump under the skin, Tom immediately called Daniel Cuozzo, DO, FAAD, a dermatologist with the Beebe Center for Dermatology and Dermatologic Surgery.
“I’ve been a patient of Dr. Cuozzo’s for years, and was glad he was able to get me right in,” Tom says.
Tom was even more grateful when Dr. Cuozzo referred him for a biopsy that showed the mass was Stage 2 melanoma. The lesion was biopsied in Dermatology, then was referred for complete removal for Stage 2 melanoma, leaving a 5-inch scar.
“It was really a scary point in my life. I was used to having small spots removed, but Stage 2 melanoma can be pretty serious,” Tom says. “I was happy that everyone at Beebe worked to help me get it taken care of right away.”
Out on the golf course, Tom still enjoys driving the ball toward the hole, but today he wears a hat and a light windbreaker to protect his skin. And, he always wears at least SPF 30 on the course. He also encourages friends and family to take preventive steps so they don’t end up in the same situation later in life.
“I spent so much time outside when I was younger—playing baseball, golfing, enjoying nature—and now I am paying for it. We didn’t ever use sunscreen then,” Tom says. “Start protecting your skin now. Don’t wait. And, if you have a spot you are concerned about, get it checked out.”