Richard Simmons Opens Up About Skin Cancer Diagnosis

Richard Simmons is opening up about his experience being diagnosed with skin cancer.

In a post shared on his verified Facebook page on Wednesday, Simmons reflected on the time he found a “strange looking bump” under his right eye which made him book an appointment with his dermatologist.

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He wrote, “I sat in his chair and he looked at it through a magnifying mirror. He told me he would have to scrape it and put it under the microscope. Now I am getting a little bit nervous. He comes back about 20 minutes later and says the C word. You have cancer. I asked him what kind of cancer and he said. Basel Cell Carcinoma. I told him to stop calling me dirty names. He laughed.”

He urged everyone to “go to a cancer doctor right away” but jokingly also suggested you “put some Botox in your forehead lines and your smile lines and let’s pump up those cheeks of yours.”

After his initial diagnosis, Simmons recalled going to see Dr. Ralph A. Massey and met other skin cancer patients in the waiting room. “I was shocked to see all of the skin cancers that they had. Some had cancer on top of their heads … their face … and their neck,” he wrote.

Simmons recalled Massey telling him that he had to “burn my skin to remove the cancer cells.” He continued, “As he started burning my skin a tear dropped down my cheek. You can’t cry during this and he wiped my tear. The burning really hurt my skin. It lasted about 30 minutes.”

After being told to come back to find out if the procedure removed all of the cancer, Simmons said that he returned to “some sad news.”

“I didn’t get it all out.  He burned my face again. This time was worse than before,” he wrote. “It was deeper. I did not cry this time but I did grit my teeth.”

The third time proved to be the charm as Simmons went on to reveal that the cancerous cells were successfully removed. “With a smile on his face, he said, ‘We got all the cancer cells out.’ I gave him a hug.”

Simmons added: “Before I left, he checked my arms, my back, my chest and my legs. I had a little Frankenstein under my right eye for a while. He gave me some cream to put on it which I did religiously. Because of his fine work I don’t have a scar.”

Though Simmons said his skin cancer was “nothing compared” to the diagnosis of others he knew fighting cancer, he encouraged everyone to always get a check up just in case: “I know some of you reading this have had cancer or have known someone in your life who has had cancer. Promise me you will see your doctor and get a complete check up.”

Simmons’ post follows his recent message about dying, which sparked concern about his health. Simmons later apologized for the confusion surrounding his message, writing on social media, “Sorry many of you have gotten upset about my message today. Even the press has gotten in touch with me. I am not dying. It was a message about saying how we should embrace every day that we have. Sorry for this confusion. Love, Richard.”

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