A woman from New York was shocked after she thought a pimple under her eye turned out to be skin cancer.
Gibson Miller, a 24-year-old high school teacher, saw a pale pink spot under her left eye when she awoke one morning in August 2018.
She rejected it as a blemish, but a few months later it still wasn't gone.
Miller decided to visit her dermatologist, who ordered a biopsy.
Within a week she was diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma, the most common form of skin cancer that required two surgeries: one to remove the cancer and another to reconstruct the tissue around the eye.
Gibson Miller, 24 (photo), from New York City, woke up in August 2018 last year and found a light pink spot under her left eye
At first she thought it was a pimple, but it didn't go away. In April 2019, she decided to visit a dermatologist who ordered a biopsy. Pictured: Miller before her biopsy, on the left and after her first operation on the right
Miller started playing tennis when she was nine years old and joined both her high school and college teams so she & # 39; constantly outside & # 39; used to be.
She never wore visors and rarely wore hats or sunglasses. She used sunscreen, but not regularly.
& # 39; I have never liked sunglasses. There were a few in my bag, but it got in my way when I was serving, so I never used them & Miller told DailyMail.com.
SKIN CANCER PRICES INCREASING AMONG YOUNG WOMEN
A new one last week study from the American Academy of Dermatology revealed that the number of skin cancers is increasing in women between 18 and 39 years old.
Researchers discovered that the number of melanomas – the most fatal form of skin cancer – was 800 percent between 1970 and 2009.
During the study period, the percentages of basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma also increased by 145 and 263 percent, respectively.
The team said that one of the reasons for the sharp rise is not due to more sun exposure, but more use of tanning beds indoors.
& # 39; (Sunscreen) always stayed in my bag, but I used it sporadically. Only in my second or second year did I use it consistently. & # 39;
In April 2019 Miller finally visited the dermatologist, who was worried about the place under her eye.
& # 39; She said, "I don't like what it looks like because it's asymmetrical. I'd like to take a biopsy," & # 39; said Miller. & # 39; A week later she called me. & # 39;
She was diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma (BCC), a form of skin cancer that occurs in the basal cell, a type of cell that produces new skin cells when old cells die.
It usually starts on the head or neck and appears as a transparent, light pink or red bump on the skin.
BCC is incredibly localized and almost never spreads in comparison to melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer.
Australian actor Hugh Jackman has had at least six procedures to remove BCC from his nose after the first diagnosis in 2013.
Miller said she had the pink spot long before she noticed it.
& # 39; I went back to look at photos & # 39; s after I got the diagnosis and I had that place three years before I noticed, & she said. & # 39; No one else did it because it was small and beaded. & # 39;
Miller was diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma, a skin cancer that occurs in a cell type that produces new skin cells when old cells die. Pictured: Miller after her first operation
On June 20, Miller underwent surgery from Mohs, a procedure that removes layers of cancerous skin until there is only uninfected tissue. The next day she had a reconstructive operation around her eye. Pictured: Miller a week after her reconstructive surgery, left, and before her diagnosis, right
According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, more than four million cases of basal cell carcinoma are diagnosed in the US every year.
It is the most common form of all cancers, but only causes around 2,000 American deaths per year.
However, the American Cancer Society estimates that more than 7,200 will die from melanoma in 2019.
On June 20, she underwent a Mohs operation, a procedure that removes layers of cancerous skin until there is only uninfected tissue.
She now wears sunscreen every day and a hat or sunglasses when she goes outside. Pictured: Miller playing tennis
The following day she was reconstructed by Dr. James Chelnis, an oculoplastic surgeon in the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai.
He says that patients have skin cancer around their eyes by either forgetting to put on sunscreen or not putting on enough.
& # 39; The reason that we are seeing a higher percentage of skin cancer around the eye is that it is very difficult to protect it & # 39 ;, Dr. Chelnis to DailyMail.com.
& # 39; We do not cover it with clothing and often not with sunscreen. It is therefore constantly exposed, which is a recipe for a problem. & # 39;
He recommends choosing sunscreen that contains the ingredient zinc oxide and titanium – known for its strong protection against UV rays.
& # 39; In the past, zinc oxide and titanium could not be easily dispersed, so people did not want to use it & # 39 ;, says Dr. Chelnis.
& # 39; Now there is an easy spread and I use that to protect myself. It is never too early to protect your skin. & # 39;
Miller's scar is starting to heal now and she said the experience has made her much more vigilant to protect her skin.
She wears sunglasses or a hat when she goes out and applies sunscreen to her face and ears, and all other body parts that are exposed.
& # 39; People say, "Sunburn smells dirty" or "I don't want me to wear it," Miller said.
& # 39; But sunscreen is sexy; it is responsible. & # 39;
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