Summer House’s New Mom Ashley Wirkus Reveals She Had Skin Cancer in Candid Post
"I am sharing to urge everyone to get your skin checked," she wrote, after her dermatologist found the mole on her back
On Tuesday, the boutique owner and lifestyle blogger, 30, candidly opened up about her diagnosis with skin cancer in an Instagram post. The new mom shared a photo of herself in bed with her newborn son, Dean Hudson McAtee, and revealed that the photo was taken after she had returned home from having surgery to remove a mole on her back that was diagnosed as malignant melanoma.
“This is me on Friday resting after having a surgery to remove the skin cancer (Malignant Melanoma) on my back,” she wrote on Instagram.
Ashley went on to explain that three weeks prior, her dermatologist noticed the abnormality on her back and decided to test it.
“3 weeks ago I went for my routine annual skin check at my dermatologist and she noted a mole on my back she wanted to biopsy. I thought nothing of it as I am naturally a very ‘moley’ person and go to the dermatologist regularly with the many past biopsies being normal,” she revealed.
“A week later I got the call that unfortunately this mole was malignant melanoma,” she added before reassuring her followers that she would update them on her status. “I had surgery to remove an area of skin on my back on Friday and should have the final results soon. I will share my next visit when I see the doctor in 2 weeks.”
According to Mayo Clinic, melanoma is “the most serious” type of skin cancer that someone can develop — forming in the cells that produce melanin, our skin pigmentation. The risk for melanoma is increasing in people under 40, particularly in women, and can occur just about anywhere on the body, usually in the form of new, unusual growth or changes to an existing one.
While the exact cause isn’t confirmed, exposure to ultraviolet radiation (ie. the sun and tanning beds) increases the risk of developing the cancer. Ashley admitted to spending a lot of time outdoors in her post, and while she took necessary precautions before, she plans to be even more careful now — urging others to do the same.
“I naturally love the outdoors and have always worn sunscreen, hats, sunglasses but it was still not enough. I now will have to be even more cautious when I am in the sun,” she said. “I am sharing to urge everyone to get your skin checked. Most annual visits are covered by insurance and now I will be going multiple times a year to stay safe! 😎”
While dealing with her skin cancer diagnosis, the blogger has been in the midst of first-time motherhood and has recently spoken out about the difficult realities of becoming a mom.
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“This has been the hardest adjustment of my life. I have had days questioning why no one warned me how hard this was going to be, and why no one really talks about the struggles of new mommy-hood?” she admitted.
The Bravo alum spoke about her struggles with breastfeeding, telling followers it “has not been easy,” and that she is “still recovering” from labor, having given birth to Dean in May.
But at the end of the day, Ashley admitted that the best part of being a mom are the intimate moments a mother gets to have with her baby.
“Thank gosh you do have this amazing human to snuggle,” she added, “being a mom is no joke!”