Dancing with the Stars professional dancer Witney Carson is speaking out about an important topic, so people know they are not alone.
Witney was 19 when she was diagnosed with skin cancer.
Now, she is telling her story to help let people know what to look out for and to hopefully help save some lives when it comes to skin cancer.
Witney Carson was diagnosed with skin cancer
Witney Carson is teaming up with EltaMD to help promote Skin Cancer Awareness Month by telling her story, hoping to debunk myths and misconceptions about sunscreen.
“When I was 19, my mom noticed a strawberry-colored mole on the top of my foot and said we should go check it out. It was on top left side of my foot and a little bit misshaped, but the most important thing is that it was growing,” Witney revealed.
According to Witney, both of her parents had melanoma, so it ran in her family. She said that she was a teenager in high school who thought she was “invincible,” using tanning beds and not wearing sunscreen at all.
“I wasn’t really worried, but then we got the results back, and they were positive for melanoma.”
This almost killed her Dancing with the Stars opportunity
She said that Witney Carson was auditioning for Dancing with the Stars when she received her diagnosis after just finishing her stint on So You Think You Can Dance. It was her chance to reach a dream she said she had for her entire life.
This caused her to hide her cancer diagnosis.
“I had the chance to be on the show, and I had this melanoma on my foot, so I didn’t tell anyone – even the producers – for a long time,” she said. “I underwent a few different abrasive surgeries, and it was hard for me because I was torn between going after my dream and taking care of my health.”
“Ultimately, I chose to take care of my health, and luckily I had three weeks to heal before the show went live.”
She said she didn’t have the authorization from her doctors to do any exercise on her foot. Witney said, by this time, cancer had spread to her hip.
“I also had an incision on my hip because the cancer had spread to lymph nodes in my hip, so my foot and my hip were still recovering,” she said. “I get to LA, no one knows anything, and I get to rehearsals the first day, and I’m going all out with the dancing, of course—not caring about my body at all—and my foot became super hot.”
She said she looked down, and her white tennis shoe was completely covered in blood. Her stitches had ripped open, so she went to urgent care and didn’t tell anyone on the show about it.
“For the lucky people, it’s just scraping a mole off, but for others like me, it involves multiple surgeries,” Witney said. “Another scary statistic: Two people die of skin cancer in the U.S. every hour. I feel lucky that I got off not having to do chemo or anything like that.”
Dancing with the Stars is on hiatus. The dancing reality competition series will return in late 2022 to its new home on Disney+ streaming.