FOX 2 - The first Monday in May is meant to get everyone thinking about the deadliest form of skin cancer - melanoma - for this woman her tall husband may have saved her life
And now for Caitlin Jones, simple moments have new meaning.
"I try to make every single day count," she said.
The mother-to-be was diagnosed with melanoma in 2020. At the time, she didn't think the mole on top of her head could be cancerous - especially since she had it biopsied four years earlier.
But her husband knew something didn't look right.
"My husband, who is quite a bit taller than I am, noticed that that spot was changing," she said. "It was much larger in
size and changing color. and he said, 'You know, I really think you should go in and have that looked at.'"
Caitlin Jones' mole in her hair part.
Caitlin was shocked when her dermatologist told her it had turned into melanoma. After processing the news, she met with doctors at Cleveland Clinic.
"Scalp skin cancer, in general, is very common. other cancers can arise there like squamous cell and basal cell, but we see a fair share of melanoma in the scalp," said Dr. Brian Gastman, Cleveland Clinic.
The melanoma was surgically removed and more than a dozen of Caitlin's lymphnodes were examined. Thankfully, cancer hadn't spread.
"I do think that had she waited much longer, she could have been toppled into a much worse stage, worse prognosis, and even to be cured, would've gone through a much more rigorous and intense treatment algorithm," Gastman said.
After Caitlin Jones' surgery to remove the mole that turned out to be melanoma.
Caitlin says she's glad her husband pushed her to go get checked out. and gets emotional thinking about what could've happened had she waited.
"I try not to think about it because I know how quickly things can change with melanoma, and how weeks and months can significantly change the diagnosis and prognosis, so looking back, I was probably right on time."
These days, she's extra cautious when out in the sun and encourages everyone to do the same.
"You get one skin and one life, so take care of it," she said.
This is a strong reminder to protect your entire body including the scalp from sunburn. That means wearing a hat or you can buy sunscreen that's specifically meant for your scalp.