Cancer Center chief battles melanoma |

Cancer Center chief battles melanoma

A decade ago, the director of the Cancer Center at Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital survived melanoma.

Ayse Turkseven, at the time a high-level administrator at the center, had a mole on her leg that was bugging her for cosmetic reasons. Her husband urged her to check it out, something she had put off until his suggestion.

“I think a lot of couples experience this: Our spouses get us to act on our intentions,” Turkseven said. “I’d had (the mole) all my life and wanted it removed.

“It turned out to be a melanoma,” the most advanced and dangerous form of skin cancer, she said.

Despite years of protecting herself, the center director got skin cancer anyway.

“I’m a redhead and I’ve never been a sun person anyway,” Turkseven said. “It was scary.”

A doctor removed the melanoma, and Turkseven learned the lesson first-hand that skin cancer checks like the one at 10 a.m. July 7 at the hospital can prevent tragedy.

“Melanoma is so sneaky,” Turkseven said. “You can even get one in your mouth.”

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