Sister Wives' Janelle Brown Reveals Skin Cancer Diagnosis: 'It Was Basal Cell Carcinoma'
In an Instagram post this week, the TLC star said viewers reached out to her after noticing a blemish above her lip in scenes from the new season, which premiered in February. After getting it checked out by doctors, Janelle learned the spot was a non-malignant form of skin cancer, which she had removed.
Janelle, 51, said she "started to see what looked like a scar develop in an area on my lip where all of my cold sores for the past two decades have erupted." At first, she thought it "was a new cold sore forming, but then it never developed and just stayed."
She said that as time went on, it continued to get bigger. "Over the next year or so it slowly increased in size. I started treating it with every scar medication I could find, thinking it was my body reacting to the years of trauma to that area of my face," said Janelle, whose plural marriage to husband Kody Brown and her three sister wives — Christine, Meri and Robyn — has been featured on the TLC series since 2010.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, her doctor's appointment was delayed, but when she did eventually manage to get it checked out, she learned it was "basal cell carcinoma, skin cancer, non malignant, but it still needed to be removed."
Thankfully, the procedure was a success. "I am happy to report that it was removed and all is well," she said.
Still, the diagnosis seemed to come as a surprise to Janelle, who said she regularly uses sunscreen to protect her skin from sun damage: "You have to know that I am very, very careful to always apply sunscreen. I have always burned so easily so really cannot go out, ever, without some sort of protection."
The reality star went on to say that she didn't think to have the area checked out since it "just looked like scar tissue, and because I had cold sores there since my early 20s, it honestly did not occur to me to have it even looked at."
By sharing her story, Janelle said she hopes to encourage others to take care of their skin.
"Even if it seems like it couldn't be skin cancer, it doesn't hurt to have your doctor look at it," she said.
Sister Wives airs Sundays (10 p.m. ET) on TLC.