life outdoors to a surprising nodular melanoma diagnosis.

Hello, my name is Art, and I’m 64 years old. I grew up in the prairies and have always been an outdoors person. During my childhood, we played and worked outside with minimal concerns about the potential effects of prolonged sun exposure on our skin. In 1981, I began working for a land survey firm, once again embracing an outdoor environment. Additionally, my family and I enjoyed travelling south to enjoy the sun for winter vacations.

In the summer of 2022, while working on our daughter’s deck, I noticed a strange-looking blood blister on my forearm. Initially dismissing it due to my involvement with tools and wood, I became concerned when it didn’t seem to disappear and, in fact, it seemed to get larger.

Upon my wife insistence, I consulted my doctor and decided to have it removed. In early September, I visited my doctor, who, after examining it, reassured me that it was likely nothing to worry about. However, he offered to remove it at a later date if I wished. Around the third week of September, I opted to have it removed and sent to pathology for confirmation.

During this process, my doctor reiterated that there seemed to be no typical signs of skin cancer, especially nodular melanoma, which doesn’t follow the “ABC’s associated with of most melanomas.

Image of Nodular Melanoma

Over Thanksgiving weekend, my doctor called me at home after clinic hours to deliver surprising news – it was, in fact, melanoma. He sounded just as shocked as I was. He promptly referred me to a surgeon at Cancer Care for a wide local excision and a lymph node biopsy. Post-survey, I was informed that my cancer was considered stage 2B because the lymph node was clear of any cancer, and there were no additional cancer markers in the extra margins of skin that he had removed.

While it might seem that everything was in the clear, nodular melanoma is deemed to have a very high risk of recurrence. Consequently, I was referred to have immunotherapy along with follow-up scans and blood work. Beginning January 20th 2023, I underwent blood work and infusion treatments every 3 weeks.

Throughout this period, I felt a strong desire to share my story with others.

I want people to understand that early detection is highly important. Sometimes, being proactive means asking direct questions and advocating for yourself within your healthcare team.

Here in Canada, especially in the prairies, we are exposed to the sun a fair bit (summer and winter); I’ve been diligent in applying sunscreen and covering up to protect myself from the sun during peak hours.

When the opportunity came up for the 7 Summits Challenge, I saw it as another way to spread the word. Fortunately, I’m currently in a good place health-wise, making this challenge a good fit for me.

I would like to encourage others to join this challenge, perform regular skin checks, and talk to your doctor if you have any concerns.

-Art Dueck

Join Art and Register for 7 Summits Snowshoe Challenge for Skin Cancer presented by Neutrogena today

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

how to connect with strava

On your marks… get set… GO! The virtual 7 Summits Snowshoe Challenge for Skin Cancer presented by Neutrogena starts tomorrow. To track your kilometers and

Read More