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It has been several years since Tamra Judge was first diagnosed with melanoma. Fortunately, today The Real Housewives of Orange County alum finds herself skin cancer-free. However, Tamra continues to use her voice to help spread awareness of the signs of the illness.
In a recent interview with Us Weekly, Tamra recalled her first brush with skin cancer while filming Season 12 of RHOC in 2017. Tamra first discovered the small mark on her bottom that was later diagnosed as melanoma when a masseuse pointed it out to her during a massage.
“I probably would have never, ever even knew it was there because I am not turning around and looking back there,” she shared. “It didn’t hurt. There was nothing, it wasn’t raised. There was no reason for me to think there was something wrong."
A few months later, Tamra had the mole biopsied and a week later her dermatologist confirmed that it was indeed melanoma. Although the dermatologist shared that her cancer was Stage 1 and “very treatable," the news took a toll on Tamra. She shared that she "started bawling" after receiving the diagnosis. "'OK, my body is failing me. I actually have melanoma,'" she thought to herself at the time.
She continued, "It’s just scary. Nobody wants to hear those words ever.”
In October 2018, Tamra had another biopsy done beneath one of her breasts, which came back clear. At the time, Tamra shared her experience with fans on social media and encouraged people to get regular skin checks and keep fighting, as she continues to do so today in partnership with the American Cancer Society.
“It’s a very scary time to be fighting any kind of disease right now where you need medical treatment,” she said. “I just think that you just have to stay strong, trust your doctor, be persistent, get second opinions. … [Fans] can definitely donate. They can volunteer, they can fundraise. There’s a lot of things that they can do [to help out]," she shared.
According to the American Cancer Society, melanoma skin cancer will be one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers in 2020. While it is less common than some other types of skin cancer, it can be more more dangerous because it is more likely to grow and spread. For more information on early detection and prevention visit www.cancer.org.
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