Teddi Mellencamp is currently battling stage 2 melanoma, a serious form of skin cancer that can be difficult to cure. Everything we know about The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills alum’s cancer battle, from her diagnosis, to her treatment, to the latest updates into her health.
What Is Melanoma?
Melanoma is often referred to as the “most serious skin cancer” due to its tendency to spread, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Early diagnosis is crucial to effective treatment, as the survival rate for melanoma after it spreads to other organs drops dramatically. At stage 2, the cancer has “penetrated the skin deeper than 1 mm,” and has a “high risk of spreading,” according to Mount Sinai. Cancer Research UK estimates the five-year survival rate of stage 2 disease to be around 80%.
When Was Teddi Mellencamp Diagnosed With Melanoma?
Teddi was first diagnosed with melanoma in March 2022 after her former RHOBH costar Kyle Richards noticed a changing spot on her back with a “black dot in the middle” — a potential sign of skin cancer.
Kyle’s hunch was correct, as that suspicious mole was not only determined to be a melanoma, but she would need more than a dozen others removed over the next year and a half.
On October 11, 2022, after a follow-up check of her skin, Teddi shared the news that her cancer had advanced to stage 2. “I got the call this morning: Stage 2 melanoma,” Teddi wrote via Instagram at the time. “Now, next Wednesday I go to an oncologist to have it cut out and come up with a game plan on next steps.”
Teddi described the diagnosis as a “wake up call” after she kept delaying her check-up appointment, admitting she “so badly wanted to blow this off.”
“Moral of this story: if a doctor says, ‘come in every three months’ please go in every three months,” Teddi warned.
What Treatment Has Teddi Mellencamp Received for Melanoma?
In addition to the many surgeries to remove her cancerous moles, Teddi spoke about her decision to try immunotherapy treatment in lieu of another surgery after she was diagnosed with her 13th melanoma in September 2023.
“I was given the option of doing a surgery and having my entire right shoulder’s skin removed and replaced with a skin graft or using this immunotherapy cream,” Teddi wrote in an October 13 Instagram post. “My margins weren’t clear after my last surgery so this is what makes most sense. I chose the cream to start.”
Unfortunately, in a December 19, 2023 Instagram update, Teddi revealed that the immunotherapy cream wasn’t working.
“I had a wide excision removal on my most recent melanoma last week to see if it did and sadly it did not,” the reality star wrote, adding that her “best next course of action” is to have surgery on December 26 to remove a larger portion of her affected skin.
Teddi added that she was hopeful that after her next surgery, she would have “clear margins” and be able to go back to monitoring her skin every three months.
What Is The Latest Update on Teddi Mellencamp’s Melanoma Battle?
Despite her disease progression, Teddi has kept a positive attitude about her treatment, and focuses on her ability to warn others about the importance of regular skin checks through her own story.
“I have faith all will be OK and that the reason this is happening to me is because I am able to raise awareness,” Teddi wrote via Instagram on December 19, 2023. “I am so looking forward to spending Christmas with my loved ones and hope this is a reminder to book your skin checks for the new year.”