Last August, Tamra Judge confirmed that she had been diagnosed with melanoma. But what fans may not realize is that The Real Housewives of Orange County fitness guru learned about the skin cancer diagnosis after an interesting incident that took place during that unforgettable group trip to Iceland during Season 12.
"I go to the dermatologist a lot and I had had this mark on the side of my butt for a long time. And I didn't think anything of it. I didn't even think to show it to her 'cause it was just a little freckle," she recently told The Daily Dish. "And we were in Iceland last year filming and I was getting a massage. And the girl that was giving a massage said, 'You know, you might need to have that checked.' And I'm like, 'Really, yeah, OK.' I even went home and a couple months went by and I was in the dermatologist for something [else]." While there, Tamra had the dermatologist give it a look when she "was literally out the door" and that's when the doctor made the call to biopsy the mark.
"She called me in the car and was like, 'You have melanoma.' And I'm like, 'Oh my gosh.' I was not expecting that at all," Tamra said. "It was only at Stage 1, so I was lucky. But if she hadn't said anything [in Iceland], I probably wouldn't have had it checked."
She said, of learning the news, that "it wasn't fun" and keeping a closer eye on her health has now become the norm for her.
"I have to get checked every three months and so I go in and get a full body check just to see. And every time I go in, I get three or four things cut off," she said. "[I have that] white, freckly skin. I did the damage in the '80s and '90s when we used to bake in the sun with baby oil and reflective blankets and that's what really does the damage. So [in] my generation, there's a rise in melanoma."
Tamra is one of several Bravo stars who have been diagnosed with skin cancer as of late, including Andy Cohen, Bethenny Frankel, and Camille Grammer. Tamra continued, "I think now we know to get our skin checked, where before you only went to the dermatologist if your skin was breaking out, or something [like] you got a rash. But now skin checks are pretty normal. They're just catching it. So every three months, I go into for a while until they know that it's not coming back."
Check out more from the RHOC trip to Iceland, below.