Rachel Maddow Reveals Cancer Diagnosis

MSNBC host Rachel Maddow is recovering after undergoing surgery for skin cancer. Maddow revealed her diagnosis during Wednesday's episode of The Rachel Maddow Show, telling viewers that she underwent surgery on Friday at NYU Langone after her longtime partner, Susan Mikula, noticed the mole on her neck had changed "a couple months ago." Maddow said that after seeking a second opinion from her hairstylist, who also confirmed the mole had changed, she went to a dermatologist, who confirmed she had skin cancer following a biopsy.

Revealing the reason for her recent absence from the show, Maddow told viewers that Mikula first noticed the change in her mole while they were at a minor league baseball game. She said, "long story short, Susan was right. I went to the dermatologist... did a biopsy, turns out it was skin cancer." She went on to "introduce" viewers to her Band-aid, which she explained she is now wearing after she underwent surgery only several days ago. Maddow took several days off work following the surgery before returning on Wednesday. Maddow, who said she is "going to be absolutely fine. I'm going to be totally fine," went on to encourage her viewers to get checked.

"It's only by the grace of Susan that I found mine in enough time that it was totally treatable. Because I have been blowing off my appointments forever to get stuff like that checked because I've assumed it will always be fine. Well, in this case, it was Susan who checked it for me. And thank God. Not everybody has a Susan, I recognize," she said. "And you do need to get this stuff checked by a doctor. Do not blow it off. Honestly, it is the easiest doctor's appointment in the world of all the things you go to the doctor for."

The MSNBC anchor added, "the deadliest of skin cancers would love to try to kill you if you don't catch them and they get to run wild. But if you get even those worst kinds of skin cancer early, which is the easiest thing in the world as far as doctor's visits go, if you get it early, you can murder it instead of it murdering you."

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According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, skin cancer is the most common cancer and affects one in five Americans by the age of 70. More than 9,500 people are diagnosed with skin cancer every day, according to the site, and more than two people die of skin cancer in the U.S. every hour. When detected early, however, the 5-year survival rate for melanoma is 99%.