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Amber Neben fighting a melanoma

American recovering from mole removal

Preparation for 2008 should not be affected

Amber Neben's  Website

Amber Neben, who rides for the Dutch professional squad, Team Flexpoint, has revealed that she has recently had a melanoma removed from her back. The mole was removed from the athlete's back in late October. Once analysed, it was confirmed as skin cancer and some further skin around the original excision site will be removed as a precaution. Neben is confident that she will return to training soon and that her preparation for 2008 will not be affected.

Amber Neben is an Olympic hopeful for 2008 and rode for the USA at the World Championships in Germany in early October. She finished 4th in the time trial in 2007 and has had some excellent road race results throughout the season, particularly excelling on General Classification in stage races. 

Neben had noticed the mole during the season. The more she looked at it, the more she thought it unusual. After the Worlds in Stuttgart at the end of the season, she returned home to California and sought advice from a dermatologist, who removed the mole and sent it for analysis. 

I was a little bit numb.  At the same time, I wasn't completely surprised.  I have had a number of challenges along the path of my athletic career.  I certainly have not understood all of them; however, I have never doubted that the Lord would bring something positive out of each, and this is no different.  I have also never doubted that he has got me in his arms, and I certainly feel that peace now.” 

 The prognosis for Neben is positive. The skin cancer was not deep and has not spread to her lymph system. 

Thankfully, this chapter appears to be a short one.  The melanoma was early and not very deep, and more importantly, it had not entered the lymph nodes.  I will only need to have an additional chunk cut out around the original excision.  The cure rate is 99%, and I am thankful that this should not hurt my preparation for 2008. 

"At the stage we caught it, the cure rate is 99 percent and the treatment was simply removing more skin.   And since I was able to get in for surgery right away, the process of rest and recovery has already started.  I will be back on the bike soon.  Dr. Jakowatz (my surgical oncologist, and the director of the melanoma center) and his staff at the University of California Irvine Medical Center Melanoma Cancer Center have taken great care of me!

Amber Neben is mindful of the need for regular skin checks and preventative action such as wearing sunscreen and UV protective clothing. “I think it is very important to get regular skin checks.  I will from now on!  And, if you have a mole that looks questionable, please take the time to go get it checked.  It is so much easier to solve the problem if you catch it early.  And, more importantly, you may save your life.

 “My melanoma was discovered on an area that is usually covered by clothing, so my recent diagnosis brings to light the importance of wearing training clothes that have built in UV protection, and always wearing sunscreen. In addition, I highly encourage people to visit the dermatologist once a year to check and track moles and spots.

WomensCycling.net wishes Amber all the best for her recovery and return to training.

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Amber during the 2007 Tour de l'Aude, on a breakaway on Stage 8

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In time trial action during the Thüringen Rundfarht, 2007

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