A 27-year-old mom who went viral on TikTok for warning others concerning the hazard of skin cancer — a hazard she knew too effectively, having ignored a suspicious mole for three years that turned out to be melanoma — has died following her personal battle with the illness.
Kassidy Pierson from Minnesota first noticed adjustments to a mole on her internal thigh when she was 18, however did not get it checked by a physician till she was 21 — and by then it had advanced into stage 3 melanoma, that means that the cancer had unfold.
It progressed to stage 4 and she or he continued to battle it till earlier this 12 months, when she realized that her cancer was terminal and was suggested to go on hospice.
Late final week, Kassidy’s sister uploaded a video to her TikTok web page, revealing that Kassidy has succumbed to the sickness.
Kassidy Pierson, who publicly shared her battle with skin cancer, died final week
Sharing the information: The 27-year-old’s sister instructed followers of her passing on TikTok
‘I wished to additionally come on and thanks all a lot for following and supporting, and I am unable to let you know the quantity of instances that she would simply break down crying as a result of she could not imagine how many individuals simply beloved her from this platform,’ she stated
Kassidy’s sister appeared bereft as she addressed her 230,000 followers.
‘I do know I’m not the face you need to see,’ she started. ‘I’m [Kassidy’s] older sister. And so I’m approaching right here to allow you to guys know that she did go away on Tuesday night time.’
‘She was with her fiancé, she was not alone. She was not in ache,’ she added.
‘But I wished to additionally come on and thanks all a lot for following and supporting, and I am unable to let you know the quantity of instances that she would simply break down crying as a result of she could not imagine how many individuals simply beloved her from this platform. So simply thanks a lot, for all that you’ve performed for her,’ she concluded.
She signed off with a warning like these her sister had shared, captioning the clip: ‘Get your skin checked.’
Warning: Kassidy had seen a cancerous mole on her internal thigh at age 18 however waited till she was 21 to see a physician about it
Symptoms: It was dry, itchy, and its dimension, form, and coloration had altered — however she did not know these have been indicators of melanoma
Kassidy had documented her battle with cancer on TikTok as she urged others to be vigilant in checking their skin for indicators of cancer.
‘This is what my mole appeared like,’ Kassidy stated in a single video, revealing a photograph of the massive, darkish mole on the within of her leg and explaining that she first started noticing ‘adjustments’ to it when she was 18.
‘It was larger than a pencil eraser, it itched, it was dry, it bled when it was itchy, it had all of the signs,’ she continued. ‘It was discolored, it modified shapes.’
At the time, Kassidy was unaware that these have been all signs of melanoma. She was additionally pregnant with her son and did not have medical insurance, so she left the mole unchecked for a number of years earlier than lastly visiting a physician at the age of 21.
Speaking to Buzzfeed, Kassidy revealed that her medical doctors took a biopsy of the mole, and two weeks later, she obtained a prognosis of stage 3 melanoma — essentially the most harmful type of skin cancer — which had already unfold to her lymph nodes.
‘After two weeks, the dermatologist referred to as me on the cellphone and instructed me it was sadly skin cancer, and it was melanoma,’ she instructed the location.
‘I then requested him what that meant, as I didn’t know. He instructed me that there have been just a few various kinds of skin cancer. Melanoma was the lethal one, and I had it.’
Speaking out: Kassidy revealed that her medical doctors took a biopsy of the mole, and two weeks later, she obtained a prognosis of stage 3 melanoma — essentially the most harmful type of skin cancer
Concern: Earlier this 12 months, medical doctors discovered seven new tumors on Kassidy’s mind, and instructed her that there’s nothing left they will do for her, advising her to go on end-of-life hospice care
Kassidy’s first oncologist didn’t initially pursue any therapy choices, and one 12 months later, it was found that her cancer had additional metastasized all through her total physique — together with her mind — thereby upgrading her prognosis to stage 4.
In gentle of the devastating information, the mother-of-one determined to hunt recommendation from a brand new physician, who suggested her to right away start an aggressive sequence of remedies, together with chemotherapy, radiation, and surgical procedure.
‘It’s been a protracted journey,’ she stated in a latest video. ‘I had a partial hip substitute, I had half of my proper lung eliminated, I’ve had a bowel resection, I’ve performed two rounds of chemotherapy, I’ve performed… 4 or 5 rounds of various radiation varieties now.
‘I’ve been on totally different immunotherapies, medical trials, medicine. It’s been a really lengthy journey that I’ve taken, a really, very lengthy journey [with] a number of surgical procedures. The hip one was one of many hardest and the lung one. And these occurred one proper after the opposite.’
Despite the extremely aggressive therapy plan, which occurred over a six-and-a-half 12 months interval, Kassidy obtained the devastating information earlier this 12 months that her cancer was terminal, after medical doctors found that it had unfold to her mind, the place she now has ‘seven new tumors’.
Updates: The mother-of-one used her TikTok account to encourage others to get their skin checked at least annually, urging them to not ignore something suspicious as she did
Take notice: She commonly shared photographs and movies of her personal tumors so that individuals may see what they appear like — and acknowledge if they’re affected by one thing comparable
‘Six and a half years later, I’m nonetheless stage 4 and I’m now terminally sick and on hospice,’ Kassidy shared within the video revealing the picture of her mole. ‘So please go get your skin checked.
‘Go and get your skin checked at least yearly. If you see one thing suspicious, go sooner.’
In July, Kassidy was instructed that she could be happening end-of-life hospice care, a heartbreaking second that she documented in a tearful TikTok clip.
‘I’ll do ten rounds of radiation for ten weeks after which I get placed on hospice after that,’ she instructed her followers, whereas sobbing into the digicam.
‘Unfortunately, because the melanoma has unfold all through my entire physique, it has entered my mind with at least seven new tumors, if no more,’ she added to Buzzfeed.
‘Meaning that none of my remedies are working anymore, and sadly at this level they don’t have anything medically they will do. There are not any remedies out there for me.’
She added: ‘I’m not scared to die, I’m simply unhappy. It is a really unhappy factor, for the moments that I can’t be there for.’
Step by step: Before happening hospice and stopping her remedies, Kassidy underwent quite a few aggressive procedures, together with chemo, radiation, medical trials, and surgical procedures
Taking time: The mother-of-one is spent the time she had left within the presence of her family members — significantly her son, Hunter, and her fiancé, Chris
The mother-of-one turned decided to spend the time she had left within the presence of her family members — significantly her son, Hunter, and her fiancé, Chris — and she or he revealed to Buzzfeed that she was within the strategy of planning her personal funeral, describing the expertise as ‘enjoyable.’
She additionally ready letters and items to depart to her son, explaining that she wished him to have issues that may assist him to ‘know who she is’ and ‘give him a reminder on these particular moments that his mommy is at all times with him.’
Speaking about her determination to share her cancer story on social media, Kassidy stated that she wished to boost as a lot consciousness concerning the lethal dangers of melanoma whereas she nonetheless can — including that she believed terminal sickness needs to be mentioned ‘extra brazenly.’
‘We all die some day,’ she stated. ‘I’ve a chance to share my demise, which many don’t get an opportunity to do. I’m blessed I get to say goodbye to my household, and I need to showcase all of the ins and outs. The good and the dangerous of all of it. This isn’t fairly and this isn’t simple. But there are good moments within the dangerous.’
The most dangerous type of skin cancer: What is melanoma and how will you forestall it?
Melanoma is essentially the most harmful type of skin cancer. It occurs after the DNA in skin cells is broken (usually on account of dangerous UV rays) after which not repaired so it triggers mutations that may type malignant tumors.
Around 106,110 new instances happen yearly within the US, with 7,180 Americans anticipated to die from the illness in 2021 alone, in line with Cancer.org.
- Sun publicity: UV and UVB rays from the solar and tanning beds are dangerous to the skin
- Moles: The extra moles you’ve, the larger the danger for getting melanoma
- Skin kind: Fairer skin has a better danger for getting melanoma
- Hair coloration: Red heads are extra at danger than others
- Personal historical past: If you have had melanoma as soon as, then you definately usually tend to get it once more
- Family historical past: If earlier family members have been recognized, then that will increase your danger
This might be performed by eradicating the whole part of the tumor or by the surgeon eradicating the skin layer by layer. When a surgeon removes it layer by layer, this helps them work out precisely the place the cancer stops so they do not should take away extra skin than is critical.
The affected person can determine to make use of a skin graft if the surgical procedure has left behind discoloration or an indent.
- Immunotherapy, radiation therapy or chemotherapy:
This is required if the cancer reaches stage III or IV. That implies that the cancerous cells have unfold to the lymph nodes or different organs within the physique.
- Use sunscreen and don’t burn
- Avoid tanning exterior and in beds
- Apply sunscreen half-hour earlier than going exterior
- Keep newborns out of the solar
- Examine your skin each month
- See your doctor yearly for a skin examination
Source: Skin Cancer Foundation and American Cancer Society