Rachel Maddow is sending an important message to her viewers about taking care of their skin health.
The MSNBC primetime host took time on her Wednesday show to “address a quick personal matter” revealing she had been gone for a few days because she had surgery to remove skin cancer on her neck. Maddow said she returned to the show still bandaged because she knew she needed to “pay this back.”
“I want to use this moment to tell you something, which is: you should get checked,” the 48-year-old political commentator said. “If you’ve got moles like I do, just get on a schedule with your doctor.”
Maddow said her partner , photographer Susan Mikula, noticed the cancerous mole while they were attending a minor league baseball game.
“She said ‘No, that mole has changed. We’ve been together 22 years that mole has changed, I know it,’ ” Maddow recalled.
After her partner called out the suspicious mole, Maddow’s hairstylist confirmed that she noticed the mole was changing too which led the TV host to go see a doctor.
“(I) did a biopsy, turns out it was skin cancer. Skin cancer accounts for the vast majority of cancers diagnosed in the United States,” Maddow said. “They got it, they got all of it. I’m good, I have clear margins and everything.”
One in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime, according to the American Academy of Dermatology.
Dermatologists recommend wearing sunscreen as a preventative measure to protect yourself from skin cancer.
Dr. Samer Jaber told USA TODAY in August that he asks his patients to use sunscreen every day on their entire face.
“We know regular use of sunscreen on the face both prevents against skin cancer and is great for anti-aging, preventing wrinkles and discoloration on the face,” he said, adding that it’s also important to wear SPF on non-sunny days since UVA rays can penetrate clouds and windows.
Maddow has used her platform in the past to stress health concerns. In November 2020 she delivered an impassioned warning about the danger of COVID-19 after her partner contracted the illness.
“Whatever you think of your own life and however much risk you are willing to take on for yourself, that’s not how this works,” she said at the time. “What you need to know is that whoever is the most important person in your life … that’s the person who you may lose or who you may spend weeks up all night freaking out about.”
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: MSNBC’S Rachel Maddow undergoes surgery for skin cancer: ‘You should get checked’