- Khloe Kardashian is a reality star who had melanoma (skin cancer) surgically removed from her face.
- She had the melanoma surgery in 2022, after previously having another tumor removed from her back when she was 19 years old.
- In a trailer for season 3 of ‘The Kardashians,’ Khloe shared a photo of the 4 cm of stitches she had on her face after the 2022 surgery.
Khloe Kardashian had to wear a bandage on her face for months after having melanoma removed from her cheek in 2022. The reality star has been open about her skin cancer scare, urging her fans to be diligent about getting their body checked for worrisome spots. Her surgery and recovery will be featured on the third season of The Kardashians, which premieres on Hulu on May 25.
On April 27, Hulu released a new trailer for the upcoming episodes, and it showed just how scary Khloe’s diagnosis was. “Melanoma is deadly,” Khloe said in the trailer. “This was way more serious than I anticipated it to be.” A photo even flashed across the screen showing Khloe’s face right after her surgery, and it revealed the stitches that she was left with on her cheek. A ruler was even placed next to the wound, revealing that it was 4 centimeters long across her face. Learn more about Khloe’s melanoma and recovery below:
Khloe Kardashian Diagnosed With Melanoma
Khloe was actually first diagnosed with melanoma when she was just 19 years old. “At 19 years old, I had melanoma on my back and I had a surgery to remove that, as well, so I am pre-composed to melanomas,” she wrote on her Instagram Story in Oct. 22. “Even those who are not, we should be checking all the time. I am someone who wears sunscreen every day, religiously, so no one is exempt from these things. Please take this seriously and do regular self-exams as well as your annual check-ups.”
The reality star had previously opened up about her original melanoma diagnosis in 2019. At the time, she wrote a post on her website about skin cancer, and shared her experience with readers. “There was one mole I had on my back that was skin cancer,” Khloe shared. “I had 8 inches of skin removed. It was definitely painful because it was a lot of skin, but most of the time, the removals haven’t been that bad.” She also revealed that she had other moles removed from her body that were biopsied, including one under her breast, but “most”of them have “not been cancerous,” so she didn’t have to go through the further surgery.
Khloe’s most recent battle with melanoma was in 2022. It’s unclear exactly when she was diagnosed, but in September 2022, she was photographed out on the beach with a bandage on her cheek. The bandage sparked concern amongst fans, and Khloe took to her Instagram Story in October 2022 to explain what was going on. “After noticing a small bump on my face and assuming it was something as minor as a zit, I decided to get it biopsied 7 months after realizing it was not budging,” Khloe wrote, adding that the spot had to be biopsied twice because doctors noticed that it was “incredibly rare” for someone Khloe’s age.
“A few days later I was told I need to have an immediate operation to remove a tumor from my face,” Khloe shared. “I’m grateful that Dr. Fischer was able to get everything. All my margins appear clear and now we’re onto the healing process. So here we are. You’ll continue to see my bandages and when I’m allowed, you’ll probably see a scar (and an indentation in my cheek from the tumor being removed) but until then I hope you know how fabulous I’m making these face bandages look.”
In a Nov 24, 2022 interview on The Kelly Clarkson Show, Khloe further detailed her experience. “It was the smallest little bump,” she said. “For months I thought it was a cystic pimple. I got it shot with cortisone and no one thought anything of it. But it wouldn’t go down, so I got it checked, and someone was like, ‘Let’s just biopsy it.’ SO they shaved it and they were like, ‘There’s no way for you at your age [that it could be melanoma]. So we had to do a second biopsy and it came back that it was a tumor and they had to operate. I’m like, ‘A tumor!?’ In my head, a tumor is a big thing like you see in the movies. It was never once that I thought it was a tumor.”
The exact date of Khloe’s skin cancer surgery is not known, but it had to have been sometime after July and before September 2022, which is when she was first spotted out with the bandage on her face. Season 2 of The Kardashians ended with the birth of Khloe’s second baby in July 2022. At that time, she had not had her surgery yet, as she was not wearing a bandage on her face yet. The show’s third season, which features Khloe’s melanoma battle, will pick up sometime after that. At the time of Khloe’s Kelly Clarkson interview, which was pre-taped on an unknown date, she said she was “about 8 weeks” post-operation. It’s likely that Khloe had her surgery sometime at the end of August or beginning of September.
What Is Melanoma?
Melanoma is a form of skin cancer that is “less common” than other types, but “more dangerous,” according to the American Cancer Society. The reason that melanoma is more dangerous is because “it’s much more likely to spread to other parts of the body if not caught and treated early.” More common forms of skin cancer are Basal cell and squamous cell cancers. These types “rarely” spread to other parts of the body, which makes them “less concerning.” Melanoma forms in melanocyte cells, which are the cells in the body that make melanin. Melanin is what makes skin turn a browner shade in the sun and it helps protect skin from the sun.
“Melanoma is the most serious type of skin cancer,” according to the Mayo Clinic. “The exact cause of melanoma isn’t clear, but exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from sunlight or tanning lamps and beds increases your risk of developing melanoma. Limiting your exposure to UV radiation can help reduce your risk of melanoma. Melanoma can be treated successfully if detected early.” It is advised to get checked by a dermatologist, especially if an existing mole on the body changes, or there’s a “new, unusual looking growth” on the skin. While melanoma is most common in areas of the body that are exposed to skin, they can also occur in less common areas like soles of the feet and palms of the hands.
How Is Khloe Kardashian Doing Today?
Luckily, Khloe’s doctors were able to remove the melanoma and she is doing well today. However, the process of healing such a major scar on her face has not been easy. In Feb. 2023, fans noticed that Khloe was still wearing a small, flesh-colored bandage on her face in an Instagram photo. “I had a tumor removed from my face but I’m totally ok,” Khloe shared with one fan. “Thank you for asking.”
Trust me it’s not easy lol but it will help my scar not stretch out any bigger than it has to be. right now it’s healing so wonderfully. I do laser treatments on it and it’s healing so so well. They want me to wear it for six months but I’m not sure I will go that long.
— Khloé (@khloekardashian) November 8, 2022
In November 2022, she also opened up on Twitter about the recovery from her surgery. “Trust me, it’s not easy lol,” Khloe wrote when a fan praised her for wearing the bandages, even at high-profile events. “But it will help my scar not stretch out any bigger than it has to be. Right now it’s healing so wonderfully. I do laser treatments on it and it’s healing so well. They want me to wear it for six months but I’m not sure I will go that long.”
In The Kardashians trailer, Khloe was not in a good place after her surgery, though. Those who were around her at the time noticed how it was taking a toll on her. “I don’t think I’ve seen you this low,” Malika Haqq told Khloe in the teaser clip. Khloe’s sister, Kendall Jenner, also pointed out, “She doesn’t sleep, she’s lost a lot of weight.”
Despite how hard this was for Khloe to go through, she’s used her own diagnosis as a way to spread awareness to fans. “I am ONLY sharing this story with you so I can remind everyone to get checked, and frequently,” Khloe said in October 2022. In her 2019 website post, Khloe also told fans, “I’m writing this post with the hope that my story can get some of you to see your doctor if you notice something wrong with your skin. I haven’t had a problem in years, but wanted to share my experience with you so that if you notice something doesn’t look right, you will take action and take care of your health!”
Even though Khloe is doing well now, there is always the possibility that she could have another cancerous tumor in the future. In her Nov. 2022 interview with Kelly Clarkson, she explained, “I really just want to highlight people making sure that they do their regular checks. I go every three months because I am at higher risk for skin cancer.”