Rachel Maddow is back to work after taking some time off to recover. On Wednesday night’s episode of The Rachel Maddow Show, the host shared that she was out for a few days after receiving surgery for skin cancer at NYU Langone Hospital.
Maddow explained that while she and her partner of 22 years, Susan Mikula, were out at a baseball game, Mikula noticed a mole on Maddow’s neck looked a little different.
When it comes to early detection of skin cancer, dermatologists suggest people take stock of any moles they have and come in for a checkup if there are any noticeable changes. The ABCDE method, which stands for “asymmetry,” “border,” “color,” “diameter,” and “evolving,” allows people to track and classify any significant changes.
Maddow approached her hairstylist about the same mole, and the hairstylist also noticed a significant change. Maddow went in to see her dermatologist soon after, and she received a biopsy and a diagnosis.
“Long story short, Susan was right, Dianne was right,” Maddow said. “I went to the dermatologist, she said, ‘Hey, you know what? That mole has changed.’ I was like, ‘Yeah, I’ve heard that.’ Did a biopsy, turns out it was skin cancer.”
Last week was when Maddow went in for the surgery to have the mole removed—hence her absence. The surgery was successful. “They got it, they got all of it,” Maddow said.
Later in the show, she continued to reassure her viewers, “I am going to be absolutely fine.”
Though she said she could have stayed out of work for a few more days, she wanted to use the opportunity to stress the importance of regular checkups. “Even the skin cancers that are the deadliest skin cancers in this country, those too are way more treatable than they used to be on one condition: That you get them early,” Maddow explained. “Even the most worrying forms of skin cancer. If you identify it early enough, it is now quite treatable.”