As a college instructor, I learn from my students all the time. A presentation from a student may save my life. One of my students discussed skin cancer and how early detection is imperative to survival. Well, that presentation gave me the kick in the proverbial pants to get my moles checked again. I have a plethora of freckles and moles and I have blue eyes and pale skin, so I am considered high-risk. I had my first skin biopsy last year (or so). The prognosis was benign but precancerous. A skin biopsy is not fun, but it's not horrible. The nurse will give you a shot to numb the area. It stings followed by burning sensation. Then the area is numb. The rest is easy. The derm will slice, punch or extract the mole. The mole will then be sent away to pathology. Before I headed into the dermatologist's office this week, I took care to circle all the new and existing spots. I'm sure I looked like a goof with circles all over, but she appreciated it. My derm reassured me that the ones I circled (across my chest and shoulders) were fine. What I did not catch-but she did-was a small dark mole on the back of my right calf, located a couple inches under my knee. She was very calm about it, but I felt there was an urgency and that she wanted to get the mole removed and sent away ASAP. (I read online that if the derm removes the whole mole, it's suspicious. If the derm removes a portion of a mole, it's not as suspicious.) I also read that melanoma is commonly found on the lower legs on women. It's just like when you go to the dentist and they're almost done with the checkup, and then you feel the catch of the instrument on your tooth. Time for another filling. I am hoping to be fortunate again with a benign prognosis this time around. I find out in about two weeks. Please, before you head for the beach, get your moles checked. It could save your life.