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Ninja reveals skin cancer diagnosis: 'Please take this as a PSA to get skin checkups'

 NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 20: Tyler “Ninja” Blevins visits the Empire State Building on April 20, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by John Lamparski/Getty Images for Empire State Realty Trust).
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 20: Tyler “Ninja” Blevins visits the Empire State Building on April 20, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by John Lamparski/Getty Images for Empire State Realty Trust).

Tyler "Ninja" Blevins, one of the most famous figures in the world of streaming, is reminding his followers to "get skin checkups" after revealing on Twitter that he's been diagnosed with an aggressive form of skin cancer.

"I’m still in a bit of shock but want to keep you all updated," Blevins tweeted. "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.

"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."

Blevins gained fame as a streamer in the late 2010s, his popularity rising alongside Fortnite, which he began streaming shortly after the release of the Battle Royale spinoff that made it, and Epic Games, huge players in the business. He's branched out into numerous other enterprises since then: He wrote a book, became a playable character in Raid: Shadow Legends, hosted a New Year's Eve livestream from Times Square, and in 2023 joined GameSquare as chief innovation officer.

But he's kept on streaming throughout, and while he's no longer on the top of the heap he's maintained a massive audience, at which he aimed the closing portion of his announcement: "I’m grateful to have hope in finding this early, but please take this as a PSA to get skin checkups."

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. 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.

(Image credit: Tyler Blevins (Twitter))

It's good advice: The American Cancer Society says melanoma is a relatively uncommon form of skin cancer but also a dangerous one because of its aggressive nature. The good news is that the five-year survival rate with early diagnosis is greater than 99%, which is why catching it early is so important.

More good advice for avoiding skin cancer in the first place largely focuses on avoiding excessive exposure to UV rays, either from the sun or tanning beds. Here's what's recommended:

  • Stay in the shade when possible.

  • Wear clothing that covers your arms and legs.

  • Wear a hat with a wide brim to help shade exposed areas like ears, scalp and neck.

  • Wear sunglasses that wrap around that block UVA and UVB rays.

  • Use a broad spectrum sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or higher.

  • A daily moisturiser with built-in SPF is also recommended.

  • Get in the habit of checking your moles regularly and be on the lookout for changes and abnormalities. Dermatologists recommend looking at least monthly. Use a mirror or ask a partner for those hard to reach areas.

Jokes about touching grass aside, stay safe out there gamers. We want you all to stick around for that Half-Life 3 announcement that's coming any day now.