Health How an innocent Instagram photo led to a terrifying skin cancer diagnosis

13:05  08 may  2018
13:05  08 may  2018 Source:   today.com

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Caitlyn Jenner shared a photo on Instagram of her sun-damaged nose, which was diagnosed as basal cell carcinoma cancer , reminding people to wear sunblock. Caitlyn Jenner Just Revealed Her Skin Cancer Diagnosis with a Terrifying Photo .

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TODAY, product courtesy of merchant siteJohn Renema, a Michigan man who found out he had skin cancer after his granddaughter posted this pic on social media and a dermatologist noticed the sun spot on his forehead.© Courtesy of Sarah Frei TODAY, product courtesy of merchant siteJohn Renema, a Michigan man who found out he had skin cancer after his granddaughter posted this pic on social media and a dermatologist noticed the sun spot on his forehead. Sarah Frei thought nothing of sharing a photo of her grandfather on social media — until she received a frightening message from one of her followers.

A Michigan man is now cancer-free thanks to the power of Instagram.

In November, Sarah Frei shared a photo of her beloved grandfather, John Renema, grinning for the camera and holding his two newest grandchildren, one in each arm. The babies are her brother's, and the photo was taken in Detroit, where the family had gathered for Thanksgiving.

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skin cancer, Melanoma MondayThis is the photo Sara Frei shared on Instagram of her grandfather. It sparked concern in an observant follower.© Courtesy of Sarah Frei skin cancer, Melanoma MondayThis is the photo Sara Frei shared on Instagram of her grandfather. It sparked concern in an observant follower. It's a lovely photo — but unbeknownst to the family, it terrified one of Frei's Instagram followers, who quickly recognized the mark on her grandfather's face as problematic.

"I was scrolling through Instagram one morning and I saw this picture of Sarah's grandpa and I've seen pictures of him before, but he had this very obvious melanoma on his forehead," Dr. Jennifer Mancuso, a board-certified dermatologist in Detroit told TODAY. "I think anyone would recognize it with any amount of training. I looked back at some older pictures and it was clear it was growing."

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"I started freaking out," Mancuso continued. "I knew I had to message her."

skin cancer, Melanoma MondayFrei poses with her grandfather, whom she lovingly calls © Courtesy of Sarah Frei skin cancer, Melanoma MondayFrei poses with her grandfather, whom she lovingly calls "Big Papa" on social media. Frei, 30, knew Mancuso as Jenny, an old friend from high school. She was concerned when she received the message and immediately alerted her mother, Linda Rzeppa. They knew about the mark, of course, but had been told it wasn't anything to worry about.

"When we checked and biopsied it a few years ago, they said it was just an age spot, not to worry about it," Rzeppa told TODAY. "They did remove it with dry ice and it kind of disappeared and then gradually started to come back. But I wasn't concerned because they told me it was an age spot. In retrospect, I wish I had been."

skin cancer, Melanoma MondayCancer survivor John Renema poses with his daughter, Linda Rzeppa, and granddaughter, Frei.© Courtesy of Sarah Frei skin cancer, Melanoma MondayCancer survivor John Renema poses with his daughter, Linda Rzeppa, and granddaughter, Frei. They made an appointment to see a doctor, where a biopsy was performed, and sure enough, Mancuso's hunch was confirmed: Renema, a survivor of prostate cancer and two heart attacks, had skin cancer.

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Being diagnosed with skin cancer can be a life-altering experience, leading to greater vigilance Caitlyn Jenner recently shared a makeup-free Instagram photo of herself, exposing the red, raw tip of her Rossen’s diagnosis led to a special report that aired in 2012. While people may pay more for

Basil cell carcinomas, or BCCs, are "abnormal, uncontrolled growths that arise in the skin 's basal cells which line … the outermost layer of skin ," SkinCancer .org explains. Though this type of skin cancer rarely results in death, if untreated, it can lead to disfigurement.

The 91-year-old was diagnosed with melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer. Fortunately, doctors at Henry Ford Health System in Detroit were able to remove 100 percent of the cancer. He later returned for a skin graft, and healed just in time for Frei's wedding, which was held on April 28.

melanoma, skin cancerFrei and her husband, Billy, pose with her grandfather on the couple's wedding day.© CarolynMarie Photography melanoma, skin cancerFrei and her husband, Billy, pose with her grandfather on the couple's wedding day. Frei, who now lives with her husband in Charlotte, North Carolina, said she often posts photos of her family on social media as way to stay in touch with people back home in Detroit. Her grandfather has become a mini celebrity on her feed, and she often uses the hashtag #BigPapa on her posts about him — his family nickname.

Frei doesn't think her grandpa has any idea how popular he's become thanks to the internet, or how social media helped lead to his diagnosis and eventual cure.

"What he said to me was that (he) just wanted to get it taken care of and get it over with, and that it was a relief to take care of it," Frei told TODAY.

But she and her mother are both shocked by how a simple Instagram post sparked a medical journey.

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"My mom and I have talked about this a few times ... It's amazing how social media has created this platform for good things to come from it," Frei said.

Rzeppa, a registered nurse, agreed.

"I think more and more, social media is going to be playing a bigger part in health care," she said. "And obviously it worked for good this time."

TODAY, product courtesy of merchant site© TODAY, image courtesy of merchant website TODAY, product courtesy of merchant site

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