Disease & Illness

Wife Warns ‘life Is Too Precious To Bake In The Sun’ After Husband’s Melanoma Diagnosis

This couple is hoping to raise awareness of a scary health issue.

An Australian couple is using social media to candidly discuss melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer — and encouraging folks to get their skin checked for signs of the disease.

The posts were written by Fallon Glossop, of Perth, and shared on the accounts of her skincare salon. Her husband, Ryan, was diagnosed with melanoma after having a harmless-looking spot checked out by a doctor.

“After 40 odd biopsies of his neck and back, 1 of his lung and 4 surgeries, what started out so small, turned into something that none of us were ready for,” Glossop wrote on Instagram and Facebook.

She shared photos of the suspicious skin spot and the results of the many biopsies and surgeries with the posts. (Note to sensitive readers: The photo of Ryan’s neck and back after a major surgery may be upsetting — scroll through with caution.)

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S K I N C A N C E R // WARNING ⚠️ confronting images* ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ This subject is quite raw for me as my husband, Ryan was diagnosed with Melanoma in Nov 2018. After 40 odd biopsies of his neck and back, 1 of his lung and 4 surgeries, what started out so small, turned into something that none of us were ready for. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ The thing is, with any skin cancer, not only do they remove the affected area of skin, but they also take a boundary around it. Ryan's boundaries kept coming back abnormal, which was then found to be a skin condition called Nevus Spillus. It's very rare for it to transition into melanoma, but in his case it did. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ In May 2019 a large area of skin from his neck and back needed to be taken. So in his 4th surgery, Ryan had a skin graft, removing skin from both legs to cover section on his neck and back. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ The strength that Ryan has had through this whole process amazes me, not only has he managed his pain considerably well but he has kept it together. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ This whole experience has been hugely challenging for all of us, but if anything good is to come out of this, it is that we now want to help raise more awareness of Skin Cancer. Melanoma accounts for 10% of all skin cancers, which is why it is so important that everyone has regular skin checks. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Your life is too precious to just bake yourself in the sun and not worry about your skin. #melanomawa #skincancer • • • • • #alittlebeauty #alittlebeautyperth #skincanceraware #skincancerawareness #skincancerprevention #spf #sunsafe #wearsunscreen #protectyourskin #cancercouncilwa #cancercouncil #skincancers #skincancerscreening #takecareofyourskin #sunsafety #slipslopslap #skintips #skincaretips #beautytips #sundamage #getchecked #skinchecks #melanomaawareness #staysunsafe #healthyskin #perthskin

A post shared by 𝙵𝚎𝚊𝚝𝚑𝚎𝚛 𝚝𝚘𝚞𝚌𝚑 𝚋𝚛𝚘𝚠𝚜 & 𝙱𝚎𝚊𝚞𝚝𝚢. (@alittlebeautyperth) on

The spot was initially diagnosed as a nevus spilus lesion. These speckled moles do not always evolve into melanoma, but that’s unfortunately what happened to Ryan Glossop.

Dr. Adam Friedman, a professor and interim chair of dermatology at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, told “Today” that the lesion in the photo looks a little suspicious, but there’s a key factor you can’t see in a photo: changes in the mole. (Friedman didn’t treat Glossop.)

“A picture cannot capture change over time, which I think is an important feature to consider,” he said. “Is a spot growing or shrinking, lighter or darker, symmetric or asymmetric?”

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That’s why it’s essential to get your skin examined by a dermatologist, especially if you see anything unusual. Giving yourself a regular checkup is an important practice for noting changes in skin, too. (For pointers, check out our guide to self-examining your skin.)

In the U.S., almost 96,500 new melanomas will be diagnosed in 2019, according to the American Cancer Society. About 7,230 people will die of melanoma this year. Rates of it are increasing overall, with more younger people being affected. The main risk factors for this condition are sun exposure and the presence of moles, but older males with a history of melanoma in the family and fair skin are especially susceptible.

Prevention, as always, is preferred: Wear sunscreen rated SPF 30 and above, and make sure to care for all exposed skin — including spots like the hands and the back of the neck.

After their ordeal, Fallon Glossop’s advice boiled down to a simple sentence on her social posts: “Your life is too precious to just bake yourself in the sun and not worry about your skin.”

Thanks to Glossop for her warning — and for caring!