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YouTuber Ninja is diagnosed with cancer aged 32 after doctors noticed an unusual mark during a routine check up

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Youtuber Ninja has been diagnosed with cancer aged 32 after doctors noticed an unusual mark during a routine check up.

The professional gamer from Illinois, who is also known as Tyler Blevins, revealed that he is battling skin cancer on X last night.

The 32-year-old said that during a routine check-up his wife Jessica urged him to go to, doctors noticed a mole on the bottom of his foot. The mole was later identified as melanoma, which is cancerous and the third most common type of skin cancer. 

The Fortnite gamer wrote: ‘Alright I’m still in a bit of shock but want to keep you all updated. A few weeks ago I went in to a dermatologist for an annual skin/mole check that Jess proactively scheduled for me. 

‘There was a mole on the bottom of my foot that they wanted to remove just to be careful. It came back as melanoma, but they are optimistic that we caught it in the early stages.’ 

Youtuber Ninja (pictured) has been diagnosed with cancer aged 32 after doctors noticed an unusual mark during a routine check up

Youtuber Ninja (pictured) has been diagnosed with cancer aged 32 after doctors noticed an unusual mark during a routine check up

The 32-year-old (right) said that during a routine check-up his wife Jessica (left) urged him to go to, doctors noticed a mole on the bottom of his foot. The mole was later identified as melanoma, which is cancerous and the third most common type of skin cancer

The 32-year-old (right) said that during a routine check-up his wife Jessica (left) urged him to go to, doctors noticed a mole on the bottom of his foot. The mole was later identified as melanoma, which is cancerous and the third most common type of skin cancer

He added: ‘I had another dark spot appear near it, so today they biopsied that and removed a larger area around the melanoma with the hopes that under the microscope they will see clear non-melanoma edges and we will know we got it. 

‘I’m grateful to have hope in finding this early, but please take this as a PSA to get skin checkups.’

Ninja’s shocking cancer news were followed by an avalanche of well wishes by other internet personalities and fans on social media. 

Fellow gamer and streamer SypherPK commented: ‘Hoping for the best. Lots of love to Jess for being proactive as well.’ Jack Dunlop, also known as CouRage on Youtube, wrote: ‘Love you brother. Praying for you.’ 

Also popular in the Fortnite community are Nick Eh 30, who told Ninja he was ‘sending the best vibes’ his way, and Pluto V2, who added: ‘Praying for you Tyler. [Well done] Jess for making that get looked at.’

Another streamer, DansGaming, said: ‘Glad you caught it early! This very procedure would have saved my mom’s life if they caught it early enough.’ 

Popular streamer Jordan Payton, also known as LEGIQN, said: ‘Praying it’s quick and they get rid of it easy! You got this and good for Jess for keeping up with the check ups.’

Twitch content creator Jake’n’Bake wrote: ‘Thanks for keeping people aware. And hopes everything was able to be removed without further issues.’

Jake also revealed that he had his own experience with cancer recently, adding: ‘I recently had some basal cell carcinoma removed from my scalp and am now trying to stay on top of routine skin checkups. Wear your sunscreen everyone!’ 

Influencer Lex, also known under her username Madeyewlook, also spoke out having a melanoma. 

She commented: ‘I had a melanoma on my lower back a few years ago, it is SO scary to hear. Areas that don’t get sun and have moles are sports to extra keep track of. 

‘Funny enough, I wanted mine removed off my lower back just because it was in the center of my body and driving me crazy. Good thing.’

By speaking about his diagnosis online, the gamer inspired some users to get their own marks checked out

By speaking about his diagnosis online, the gamer inspired some users to get their own marks checked out 

Ninja told his fans: 'I'm grateful to have hope in finding this early, but please take this as a PSA to get skin checkups'

Ninja told his fans: ‘I’m grateful to have hope in finding this early, but please take this as a PSA to get skin checkups’ 

Ninja (pictured) inspired others by sharing his diagnosis. Streamer AstroAceTV said: 'I've had one for a few years and this has me wanting to get it checked out now cause it's better to know than not. Thank you for [raising] awareness, I'm sending all the good vibes your way Ninja.'

Ninja (pictured) inspired others by sharing his diagnosis. Streamer AstroAceTV said: ‘I’ve had one for a few years and this has me wanting to get it checked out now cause it’s better to know than not. Thank you for [raising] awareness, I’m sending all the good vibes your way Ninja.’

‘About three years ago I had it removed out of my face. Very scary scenes but I now have a badass scar, looks almost like a battle wound. Prayers up for you,’ twitch streamer DunkinHonut said.

Celebrities who were also diagnosed with malignant melanoma include Hugh Jackman, Khloe Kardashian, Bob Marley, Andy Cohen, Diane Keaton, Ewan McGregor, Molly-Mae Hague, Caitlyn Jenner and Teddi Mellencamp.

By speaking about his diagnosis online, Ninja inspired some users to get their own marks checked out.

Streamer AstroAceTV said: ‘I’ve had one for a few years and this has me wanting to get it checked out now cause it’s better to know than not. Thank you for [raising] awareness, I’m sending all the good vibes your way Ninja.’

‘Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers. I have never even considered a skin check up. I hope others like myself take this as a valuable lesson and speak to our doctors about it,’ one user named Luck wrote.  

What is malignant melanoma? 

Malignant melanoma is a serious form of skin cancer that begins in melanocytes, cells found in the upper layer of skin that produce melanin, which gives skin its colour.

While less common that other types of skin cancer, it is more dangerous because of its ability to spread to other organs more rapidly if it is not treated at an early stage.

Symptoms

A new mole or a change in an existing mole may be signs of melanoma.

Melanomas can appear anywhere on your body, but they’re more common in areas that are often exposed to the sun.

Some rarer types can affect the eyes, soles of the feet, palms of the hands or genitals.

Check your skin for any unusual changes. Use a mirror or ask a partner or friend to check any areas you cannot see.

In particular, look for: 

  • Moles with an uneven shape or edges 
  • Moles with a mix of colours 
  • Large moles – melanomas often tend to be more than 6mm wide 
  • Moles that change size, shape or colour over time

Causes

Ultraviolet (UV) light is the most common cause of melanoma. It comes from the sun and is used in sunbeds.

Melanoma is more common in older people, but younger people can also get it.

You’re also more likely to get melanoma if you have:

  • Pale skin that burns easily in the sun 
  • Red or blonde hair 
  • Blue or green eyes 
  • A large number of freckles or moles 
  • Had a lot of sun exposure and you’ve had sunburn a lot in the past 
  • Used sunbeds a lot 
  • A history of skin cancer in your family or you’ve had skin cancer before

If you have black or brown skin, you have a lower chance of getting melanoma, but you can still get it. 

Prevention

Staying safe in the sun is the best way to lower your chance of getting skin cancer (both melanoma and non-melanoma). 

Do the following:

  • Stay out of the sun during the hottest part of the day 
  • Keep your arms and legs covered and wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses that provide protection against ultraviolet (UV) rays
  • Use sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30 and at least 4-star UVA protection – make sure you reapply it regularly
  • Make sure babies and children are protected from the sun – their skin is much more sensitive than adult skin

Treatment 

Melanoma skin cancer can often be treated. The treatment you have will depend on where it is, if it has spread and your general health.

Surgery is the main treatment for melanoma. Radiotherapy, medicines and chemotherapy are also sometimes used.

Surgery could involve removing the melanoma and an area of healthy skin around it, swollen lymph nodes if the cancer has spread to them and other parts of the body if it has spread to them.

If a large part of skin has to be removed, a skin graft might be needed which could see kin taken from another part of the body to cover the area where the melanoma was.

Radiotherapy is sometimes used to reduce the size of large melanomas and help control and relieve symptoms.

Targeted medicines and immunotherapy are used to treat melanomas that can’t be dealt with by surgery, or have spread to lymph glands or other parts of the body.

Chemotherapy, which kills cancer cells, is sometimes used to treat advanced melanoma when it has spread to another part of the body. It does not work as well as other treatments, but can be used if you are unable to have them.

How dangerous is it?

Generally for people with melanoma in England:

  • almost all people (almost 100%) will survive their melanoma for 1 year or more after they are diagnosed
  • around 90 out of every 100 people (around 90%) will survive their melanoma for 5 years or more after diagnosis
  • more than 85 out of every 100 people (more than 85%) will survive their melanoma for 10 years or more after they are diagnosed

Sources: NHS, the Skin Cancer Foundation and Cancer Research UK



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