Teddi Mellencamp has shared a skin cancer update with her followers after her doctors recommended she have three new white spots on her back biopsied.
The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star, 41, who was declared cancer-free last year after having 12 melanomas removed, shared the health update on Instagram on Thursday, where she revealed that she is also waiting on the results of a lymph node biospy after an ultrasound of a bump on her neck had also come back “irregular”.
In the post, which included photos of the reality star’s scarred back, as well as a close-up photo of the new white spots, she told her followers that she’d gotten the update from her doctors after going for her four- to six-week checkup.
“I went in for my four- to six-week checkup and there were three new spots my doctors felt needed to be biopsied,” she explained. Mellencamp then went on to address questions about the spots, as she noted that she’d received a lot of questions about their colouring.
“I’m getting a lot of questions about the spots being white. I have had both white and brown melanomas; this is why I continue to share to get checked no matter what,” she wrote.
According to the Mayo Clinic, melanomas, the most serious type of skin cancer, can develop anywhere on the body and often appear as a new or unusual looking growth on the skin. The health agency notes that characteristics of unusual moles that may indicate melanomas or other skin cancers include irregular shapes or “irregular, notched or scalloped borders,” or moles that have changed in colour or grown larger.
The Skin Cancer Foundation also warns that melanomas may appear in different shades of brown, tan or black, but that the colours red, white or blue may appear as they grow. Certain melanomas, referred to as “amelanotic” melanomas, may have no colour at all.
In the post, Mellencamp also revealed that she recently discovered a bump on her neck, which she said she touched “at least 303 times” out of anxiety as she waited for her appointment with her doctor. According to the reality star, although she’d assured herself the bump was nothing on the day of her appointment, the ultrasound came back “irregular,” prompting her doctor to recommend either a needle biopsy or the removal of the lump.
“I had the option of a needle biopsy or getting it cut out completely; the doctor recommended the biopsy to start, however there’s a small chance it’ll come back inconclusive and we will then have to remove it,” she explained.
In a video taken from the doctor’s office after the ultrasound came back irregular, Mellencamp admitted that she was “not looking forward” to the needle biopsy of her neck, but that she was “really grateful” she visited her doctor when she did.
In another video update, taken after she’d undergone the needle biopsy of the lymph node in her neck, Mellencamp told her followers that she expected to receive the results from the biopsies of her neck and her back in the coming week.
She noted in the caption of the post, that, as someone who “is a controlled person,” she was “dealing as best” as she could with “something out of [her] control”.
However, she also noted the importance of recognising the things she can control, including “staying on top of my appointments, self-checks, and asking my doctors questions”.
“I’m trying my best to stay positive and will fill you in when I get the results. If this saves even one person from going through what I’m going through, it’s worth it,” she concluded, while also expressing her gratitude for the continued support.
Mellencamp’s update comes after she underwent a second surgery last year to remove 11 melanomas and three lymph nodes, after doctors diagnosed the spots as being stage two melanoma.
The reality star revealed that the surgery had gone successful in a post shared to Instagram on 7 December, in which she’d also shown off her surgery scars. “Finally here with another melanoma update, and it’s one I’m happy to share. Pathology is back - the surgeries were successful and the margins are clear,” she wrote, adding that she’d also undergone genetic testing, and learned there were “no mutations we need to worry about”.
In the candid post, Mellencamp also informed her followers that she’d recently had a “healthy” mammogram, which detects breast cancer, before acknowledging the importance of “preventative care”.
“I say peace out to 11 melanomas and three lymph nodes - I gladly hardly knew ya - and hello to a new sense of peace. It’s been eye-opening how quickly things can change and it’s a lesson I will never forget, nor quit speaking up about,” she wrote at the time. “I want nothing more than for all of you to be proactive so you do not have to experience this. Let my scars be your inspiration to get preventative care.”
At the time, Mellencamp also informed her followers that she’d be returning to her doctors every four to six weeks for checkups.
In response to Mellencamp’s latest health post, fans have applauded her for sharing the update, and for taking the opportunity to educate others.
“I’m so sorry you’re going through this. I’m thankful you are spreading awareness though!” one person wrote, while another said: “Thank you for sharing your journey and for being proactive about your health.”