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The Right to Bare Arms

The Right to Bare Arms

Deb Valvo detects skin cancer early thanks to Dr. Emily Smith of MU Health Care.

There was a time when I really liked my arms — they had some decent shape to them and were typically a bit tan. That time, however, is not now. Age spots seemed to erupt nearly overnight and I’m not a fan of their current shape. Consequently, anything without sleeves doesn’t appeal to me very often.

This being said, I’m thankful that I bravely wore a sleeveless top to a recent Women’s Network luncheon. On this particular day, MU Health Care was the presenting sponsor and was offering skin screenings on the spot.

When I stepped behind the privacy curtain to face Dr. Emily Smith, she immediately reacted with “I’m so glad to see you! If you didn’t come back for a screening, I was going to come find you.”

Following me into the building earlier, Dr. Smith noticed what appeared to be skin cancer on the back of my arm. Oh, boy. I really didn’t expect THAT reaction. But I did appreciate her determination to track me down if necessary.

Fast forward a bit. I scheduled an appointment with Dr. Smith and she was able to “fast track” me in within a reasonable time frame. She ended up removing basal cell carcinomas from three areas.

The good news here is that basal cell carcinoma is generally the least dangerous form of skin cancer. And we all know (or should) that catching any type of skin cancer early is a plus.

I scheduled another appointment in September for Dr. Smith to give my old bod a full once over. She is so likeable and enthusiastic that it was impossible not to respond to her that day at lunch, as well as her request to see her again soon.  

So, the arms still need some toning up and are sporting minor residuals of my first visit to MU Health Care’s dermatology department, but I’ll still throw caution to the wind and bare them — with sunscreen — when I can.  

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