Skin cancer was discovered in Ninja, the most popular streamer on Twitch.Skin cancer was discovered in Ninja, the most popular streamer on Twitch.

Skin cancer, known as melanoma, was revealed to be the diagnosis made by Twitch sensation Tyler “Ninja” Blevins. With 19 million followers on Twitch, the 32-year-old shared the news in a Tuesday post, expressing his shock and determination to keep everyone informed. Following a routine skin check, Blevins’ dermatologist identified melanoma after removing a mole from the sole of his foot. Despite the initial shock, Blevins remains optimistic, as doctors believe they caught it early. Further tests were conducted, including biopsying a second dark spot and removing surrounding tissue to ensure the complete removal of cancerous cells. In a plea to his audience, Blevins emphasized the importance of regular skin checkups, aiming to raise awareness about early detection. Both Blevins and his wife, Jessica, underscored the significance of routine screenings in a statement to CNN, expressing optimism and promising updates as they consult with medical professionals. Blevins’ revelation echoes a concerning rise in cancer diagnoses among individuals under 50 globally, with researchers attributing this trend to various lifestyle factors such as smoking, alcohol consumption, pollution, obesity, and poor diet.

Melanoma: What is it?

Skin cancer ranks as the most prevalent form of cancer in the United States, with statistics from the American Academy of Dermatology indicating that 1 in 5 Americans will contend with skin cancer during their lifetime. Among the various types, Tyler “Ninja” Blevins received a diagnosis of melanoma, an uncommon variant constituting only about 1% of skin cancer cases, yet contributing significantly to skin cancer-related fatalities. Melanoma initiates in the skin but possesses a propensity to metastasize to other body regions, a characteristic that elevates its mortality rate, as elucidated by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Typically, melanoma manifests later in life, with the average age of diagnosis at 66; however, it’s not uncommon among younger demographics, particularly young women, as highlighted by insights from the American Cancer Society. Several risk factors predispose individuals to melanoma, encompassing lighter skin complexion, exposure to UV radiation, a high number of moles, familial history of melanoma, and personal history of melanoma or other skin cancers, as outlined by the American Cancer Society.

How to avoid getting skin cancer

In order to prevent skin cancer, the American Academy of Dermatology emphasizes the significance of sun protection methods. They recommend using sunscreen, avoiding direct sunlight during peak hours, and avoiding tanning beds. “Every exposure to UV rays, whether from the sun or indoor tanning, inflicts damage on your skin,” emphasizes the American Academy of Dermatology on its official website.  Furthermore, the organization recommends regular self-examinations of the skin and prompt consultation with a dermatologist upon detecting any suspicious or new skin abnormalities.

Although routine screening for skin cancer is not currently recommended by the US Preventive Services Task Force for asymptomatic adolescents and adults, insurance coverage for such visits may not be guaranteed. Nevertheless, individuals noticing any questionable skin lesions or symptoms indicative of skin cancer are encouraged to seek guidance from their primary care physician or a dermatologist promptly.

How to examine your own skin

The association emphasizes the significance of monitoring moles and other skin spots as a crucial aspect of skin cancer screening.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, individuals are advised to utilize a full-length mirror to inspect the front, back, and sides of their body thoroughly. Additionally, closer examination is recommended for areas such as the underarms, forearms, palms, legs, spaces between toes, and soles of the feet. To assess harder-to-see areas, such as the back of the neck, scalp, and buttocks, a hand mirror can be employed.


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