Rachel Maddow announces she was diagnosed with cancer and underwent surgery

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Rachel Maddow opened The Rachel Maddow Show Wednesday by revealing to her audience why she had been out Monday and Tuesday. Maddow explained that while she and her partner of 22 years, Susan Mikula, were at a minor league baseball game, Mikula noticed a mole on Maddow’s neck that had changed. Soon after, Maddow asked her longtime hairdresser about the mole, who said the same. So Maddow went to the dermatologist where she got the 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.”

Maddow had surgery to remove the cancer on Friday, which is why she was out, and said she’s in the clear for now.

“I had a few days off because I had surgery at NYU Langone on Friday. They’re fantastic. They got it, they got all of it,” Maddow said. “I’m good, I have clear margins and the whole thing. I now need to have everything checked, like, every five minutes from here on out because I do not want to get this again.”

Maddow, who had a barely-noticeable bandage on her neck and face, said she feels great and is going to be just fine. In fact, she felt like she could have gone to work the night of the surgery.

“I am going to be absolutely fine,” Maddow said. “I’m going to be totally fine, but that is why I have a band-aid. I actually have felt fine since I got the surgery on Friday, in terms of how I felt, and pain levels and stuff. I could have come back right away. I could have been on the air Friday night. I didn't do that because I didn't want to weird you out because of the visual of me having the band-aid.”

Maddow also urged others to get checked because skin cancer is highly curable, but only if caught early enough.

“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 said. “Even the most worrying forms of skin cancer. If you identify it early enough, it is now quite treatable.”

The Rachel Maddow Show airs weeknights at 9 p.m. on MSNBC.

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