My Trip To The Dermatologist As A Pathologist Ironman Athlete

Hi folks,

dermatologist, health screen, skin cancer, scientist

The author having his six-monthly dermatology checkup by Dr. Robin Thompson. I've got to get rid of that belly fat before the next race!

I’ve seen cancer in many guises during my scientific career of over 40 years, including material from domestic animals and research studies, and clinically as it took loved ones from my life. I know this beast pretty well, so when I go for a health screen I wonder – is it my turn? My recent visit to my dermatologist, Dr. Robin Thompson of Chapel Hill Dermatology, was no exception. I was aware from direct observation that I had several new lumps and bumps, all looking like solar or seborrheic keratosis. But there was a new one, right on my forehead. Robin took a biopsy of this small but potentially lethal lump for pathology (my discipline). I’ll know in a week what the pathologist concludes. The first time a biopsy was taken in Robin’s office I requested a spare section for my own interest. I wrote about that ‘spiritual experience’ in a previous post on über-consciousness.

You can save yourself from dying of skin cancer by simply having regular checkups by someone who knows what they are doing. As an older Ironman athlete who exercises for better health, I spend many hours out in the sun, so this is particularly important in my case. You are not exempted from this risk, whether you are well tanned or almost white like me. Skin pigmentation and hair provide considerable protection from the cancer-inducing effects of sunlight, but they are not a complete defense.

-k Your Medical Mind



  1. From the finger in the photo, it looks as if it is in exactly the same place as MY growing mole. I have a doctor’s appointment on Monday.

    • Hi Marian,
      Turned out to be another case of solar or seborrheic keratosis, and thus no real threat. Always get it checked, though.
      Time for my morning cup of tea to wake me up.
      -k @FitOldDog

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Disclaimer: As a veterinarian, I do not provide medical advice for human animals. If you undertake or modify an exercise program, consult your medical advisors before doing so. Undertaking activities pursued by the author does not mean that he endorses your undertaking such activities, which is clearly your decision and responsibility. Be careful and sensible, please.