Ariana Madix is getting real about some of her biggest struggles—including skin cancer.
The Vanderpump Rules star was diagnosed with stage 1 melanoma in 2018 and later underwent surgery, which she said put her boyfriend Tom Sandoval into "strong caretaker mode." Now, she wants her story to encourage others to be proactive about their own health.
"I think what is so important about what happened to me is that it was the early detection and noticing that there was something weird, and then being persistent at the doctor to get answers, that got me to a point where I'm in a good place," Madix told Daily Pop hosts Justin Sylvester and Carissa Culiner on Thursday. "So I don't want anyone else to have to go through something worse than what I did. Early detection is so key."
Ariana was able to get the cancerous mole removed before it caused additional damage, but she actually couldn't seek treatment when she initially wanted to. Why? As a bartender at Lisa Vanderpump's famed restaurant SUR, she didn't have health insurance.
"Until I got to a point where I was financially stable, I was not able to afford health insurance for myself. You know, I would go to urgent care for something," Ariana explained. "So seeing a dermatologist, for so long, was just outside of the realm of what I was able to do. And so when I got to that point finally, I [said], 'I have to ask a dermatologist.' And so I'm really glad I did."
For those who may be in a similar situation and hesitant to seek care, Ariana recommends looking into the Skin Cancer Foundation.
"It has mobile testing, and it can be a huge resource of information and help people be able to get to that point of detecting," Ariana said, adding that she herself learned a lot from the foundation. "Something that I definitely did not know is that [skin cancer] is the most common cancer that you can get. And that anybody can get it. It's not just, you know, people who are in the sun. It's not just people with fair skin. It's anybody."