Knoxville woman raises awareness after surprise melanoma diagnosis

Knoxville, Tenn. (WATE) – Summer is here and that calls for time on the lake or a trip to the beach. It also means tan lines and possibly sunburn. A Knoxville woman’s startling diagnosis of melanoma has her talking about protecting your skin.

Last year, WATE introduced you to Michelle Kenik, a personal trainer and cyclist who served as a marshal for the USA Cycling Criterium.

“I ride road and mountain bikes,” Kenik explained, “and gravel bikes. I love all three of them.

It was an exciting time for the athlete. It would close an exciting chapter in his life to move on to a much more difficult one – his cancer diagnosis.

“Around April last year so in 2021 a new mole appeared on my leg and honestly I didn’t think much about it as it looked pretty normal. I even googled you know, cancerous moles and it just seemed normal to me so stupidly that I didn’t give it much thought.

But it was not normal. After a biopsy, Kenik was told it was malignant, it was melanoma and it was very invasive.

“Then I was in stage three and had to start treatments. So it all happened within a month last year and so and then I did, you know, like I said eight months in 12 months of treatment so far.

She is not yet cured of cancer, but she hopes to be back to normal soon. This trip taught her to step up her skincare game.

“I really didn’t really think about skin cancer. And now, I’m really diligent about it. I don’t wear anything less than SPF 50 and I cover up and wear UPF clothes,” Kenik said.

She urges us all to do the same.

The Academy of Dermatology recommends applying enough sunscreen to cover all exposed skin. Most Adults Most adults need about 1 ounce – or enough to fill a shot glass – to fully cover their entire body.

When outdoors, reapply sunscreen about every two hours, or after swimming or sweating.

For more tips: www.aad.org/media/stats-sunscreen.

About Robert James

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