Skip to content

Melanoma/Skin Cancer Health Center

Font Size
A
A
A

Reality T.V. Star Becomes Melanoma Patient

TV star Kimberly Bryant's wake-up call came when her doctor found and removed a malignant mole.
By Lauren Paige Kennedy
WebMD Magazine - Feature
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

On The Real Housewives of Orange County, you faced a serious health threat. What happened?

My doctor found a malignant mole -- a shallow melanoma in early stages -- on my thigh, a few inches above my knee. I've faced skin cancer before, but I never intended to share this "reality" on the show. Now, I'm glad I did. Since the show has aired, several people have told me they've gotten their skin checked because of me -- and it thrills me to hear it.

Recommended Related to Melanoma/Skin Cancer

Stay Safe in the Sun After Skin Cancer

If you've had skin cancer, you don't need to stay indoors and read a book while everyone else is out riding a bike or at a ball game. You do need to be extra careful in the sun, though. "We want to encourage a healthy lifestyle," says Lisa Chipps, MD, director of dermatologic surgery at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. But once you've had a skin cancer, she says, you're more likely to have another. If you've had a melanoma, the most serious skin cancer, you're nine times more likely to have a new one...

Read the Stay Safe in the Sun After Skin Cancer article > >

When were you first diagnosed with skin cancer?

At age 27 -- 17 years ago. I went in for acne treatments and my doctor gasped. He removed 22 moles from my body. He tested them all, and one came back malignant.

Were you a sun worshipper when you were young?

I got a tremendous amount of sun exposure as a child. All the damage was done before I was 25.

You write on your Bravo blog that you had an eye sewn shut for two months after half of your lower eyelid was removed due to skin cancer. Tell us about this experience.

I had a tiny tumor near my tear duct. It was not malignant, but I still tell everyone: Wear sunglasses! Make sure your children wear sunglasses! Protect your eyes!

How much has changed in the last two decades, in terms of prevention and treatment of skin cancers?

Not enough. It will take someone like Brad Pitt getting melanoma to get the kind of funding needed to get the research done that this cancer needs.

Any advice for other mothers trying to keep their families safe from UV rays?

When my kids were little, it wasn't hard keeping them covered up. Now they want to be at the beach with their friends -- and not look dorky in long sleeves. But there are companies that make cute clothes that have sunscreen built into the fabrics. Also, be creative. Don't tell your teenager she can't go to the beach. Instead, plan an indoor activity for her and her friends -- like going to a cool sushi bar or a museum -- then take them to the beach after 4 p.m. Watch the sunset together.

1 | 2 | 3

Today on WebMD

Malignant melanoma
About 40-50 percent of those who live to be 65 may get it. Here’s how to spot early.
Woman checking out tan lines
There’s a dark side to that strive for beauty. See them here.
 
sauteed cherry tomatoes
Fight cancer one plate at a time.
Lung cancer xray
See it in pictures, plus read the facts.
 
12 Ways to Protect Your Skin from Melanoma
ARTICLE
precancerous lesions slideshow
SLIDESHOW
 
Do You Know Your Melanoma ABCs
VIDEO
15 Cancer Symptoms Men Ignore
ARTICLE
 
screening tests for men
SLIDESHOW
Vitamin D
SLIDESHOW
 
Is That Mole Skin Cancer
VIDEO
Brilliant sun rays
Quiz
 

WebMD Special Sections