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After experiencing a health scare, this former Modern Family star has some advice for those who want to avoid a similar situation. On June 7, Jesse Tyler Ferguson shared his skin cancer diagnosis on Instagram, and though he explained that he was doing fine since it was found early, he also shared a warning that could keep others healthy or help prevent skin cancer from developing.
Read on to learn more about his experience and to find out the warning he's giving to others.
Ferguson reminded everyone to prioritize dermatology appointments.
"Reminder to stay up to date on your dermatology checks… especially if you're fair like me," Ferguson wrote in an Instagram caption on June 7. He posted a photo of himself at the doctor's office with a piece of gauze bandaged to his neck. "I always wind up getting something taken from me, every time I go," he added with a sad face emoji.
He also gave another simple tip that's especially key as temperatures rise.
In the same post, Ferguson shared more about his doctor's appointment. "Today, they took a bit of skin cancer that they found. Don't worry, I got it early and I'm gonna be just fine," he wrote.
Then, he added another suggestion: "Wear sunscreen! SPF 1000 for me!"
Ferguson had his first brush with skin cancer in 2015.
In Dec. 2015, Ferguson posted a photo of himself on Instagram that showed him with a bandage on his cheek, thanking his doctor and his team "for taking the cancer out of my face," he wrote. "Good luck hiding the stitches tomorrow @modernfamily_makeuphair!"
In May 2016, the actor shared more details about his procedure in an interview with ABC News. "I had to have a piece of skin taken out of my cheek," he said. "It was nothing serious. There was no life-threatening thing that happened, but it was a little scary. I've never had a brush with cancer before."
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Ferguson's husband was diagnosed with cancer as a teen.
During the 2016 interview with ABC News, Ferguson explained that his husband, Justin Mikita, was supportive during his health scare and could relate because he had cancer as a teenager. "He certainly understands what it's like to go through a scare like that," Ferguson said. "He was a lot younger when it happened for him … but he comforted me as any husband would. He understood and sympathized with my fear of it."
Mikita was diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease when he was a young teenager. "As a 14-year-old going through cancer I was really resilient," Mikita later wrote in an essay about mental health in 2019. "What was more challenging, however, was the journey afterwards and my struggle with PTSD and the life-long effects of going through that experience at such a young age."
At a Stand Up to Cancer event in 2014, E! News reports that Ferguson said Mikita "goes in once a year for his check-up to make sure he's still cancer free so he's always reminded of it."
Experts say most skin cancer is preventable.
According to the Mayo Clinic, "most skin cancers are preventable." The experts at the medical center note that the abnormal growth of your skin is most often caused by sun exposure, so it tends to crop up in more visible places, though it can also develop on other parts of your body.
People at an increased risk of developing skin cancer include those who are fair, those with a history of sunburns, people with a family history of skin cancer, and people with a lot of moles or abnormal moles, to name just a few factors. To help avoid skin cancer, as Ferguson suggested, wear sunscreen, wear protective clothing, don't use tanning beds, and regularly check your skin for any moles that pose a potential risk. Specifically, you want to check them for five factors: ABCDE, which stands for asymmetry, border, color, diameter, and evolution.