Getty ImagesManny Hernandez
- Dayanara Torres, former Miss Universe, revealed she has skin cancer in an Instagram video.
- According to Dayanara, the melanoma was discovered in a “big spot/mole” she never “paid attention to.”
- Dayanara is waiting to learn more about her treatment options to make a decision on her next steps.
Former Miss Universe, Dayanara Torres, shared some upsetting news with fans on Monday: she’s been diagnosed with skin cancer.
Dayanara, 44, took to Instagram to let her fans know: “Today I have some sad news…I have been diagnosed with skin cancer ‘melanoma’ from a big spot/mole I never paid attention to,” she wrote. (Dayanara spoke in Spanish in the actual video.) “Even though it was new, it had been for growing years and had an uneven surface.”
Dayanara went on to say that her fiancé, Louis D’Esposito (co-president of Marvel Studios), had been urging her to see a doc about the mole for months. “My fiancé Louis had been begging me to have it checked & finally made an appointment himself,” she wrote. “After a biopsy & a second surgery last Tuesday the results unfortunately are positive.”
According to Dayanara, she’s currently waiting for her next steps. “Now we are waiting to see which treatment I will be receiving,” she wrote. “But they have already removed a big area from the back of my knee & also they have removed 2 lymph nodes at the top of my leg where it had already spread.” Dayanara added that she’s hoping the cancer “has not spread to any more areas or organs.”
I know I’ve heard of melanoma…but what is it, exactly?
According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), melanoma only accounts for about one percent of skin cancers, but it’s more likely to grow and spread throughout the body.
Melanoma is a cancer the begins in the melanocytes, per the ACS. (Just FYI: Melanocytes are one of three types of cells in the top layer of skin, or the epidermis. The other two are squamous cells an basal cells. The melanocytes make a brown pigment called melanin, which gives skin its tan or brown color, per the ACS.)
While melanomas can develop anywhere on the skin, they typically crop up on the legs in women. The neck and face are also common.
Several risk factors can make a person more likely to develop melanoma, including exposure to ultraviolet rays (a.k.a., sunlight or tanning beds), having moles, having fair skin or freckles, and having a family history of melanoma.
The bet way to prevent melanoma is to practice proper sun protection (that means slathering on lotion and finding shade), but also regularly checking your skin for abnormal moles—like if you notice a mole is changing color, diameter, or evolving in any other way, per the ACS.
The best treatment for melanoma is based on the stage of the cancer, as well as other factors, but will often include some form of surgery, immunotherapy, chemotherapy, or radiation therapy, per the ACS.
In her Instagram post, Dayanara urges her followers to take care of themselves and pay attention to their bodies. “If you see or feel something different in your body, have it checked,” she wrote. “I had no idea skin cancer could spread anywhere else in your body.”
As far as how she’s handling her diagnosis, Dayanara, a mother of two, seems prepared to do whatever it takes. “My sons although a bit scared know about my faith and know they have a warrior of a mommy!”