• By Dana Sparks

Sharing Mayo Clinic: A friend’s advice leads to melanoma diagnosis

April 29, 2018

John, with his bandage on his forehead after the melanoma was removed, and Carol sitting at lunch table smilingAs someone with a family history of melanoma — a dangerous form of skin cancer — John Murphy, who works in Public Affairs for Mayo Clinic, wasted no time when his longtime friend and co-worker, Carol Lammers, pulled him aside after lunch one day and told him an age spot on his forehead looked different.

Carol, who met John 20 years ago on his first day of work at Mayo, knew John's family was particularly affected by melanoma. And although John was diligent about his dermatologic health — he faithfully had a skin check every year — Carol's remark set him on a fast track through diagnosis and treatment of melanoma, which is reported to affect 80,000 new patients each year.

"With this disease, time matters, so it's good to get checked, get checked frequently, and go to the dermatologist if you see a change," John says.

A few days after Carol suggested John seek medical advice, he met with Catherine Newman, M.D., in Mayo's Department of Dermatology. At the appointment, Dr. Newman performed a diagnostic skin biopsy on the lesion. Just a week later, on Jan. 23, 2018, John had surgery to remove a malignancy from his forehead.

"John's tumor was thin, so he has a very good prognosis," Dr. Newman says, adding that he will continue to be followed closely going forward. Read the rest of the story.
This article originally appeared on the Sharing Mayo Clinic blog.