Rihanna's Fenty Beauty Model Slick Woods Is Undergoing Chemotherapy For Stage 3 Melanoma — What We Know

Photo: Instagram
Who Is Slick Woods? Rihanna Fenty Model Undergoing Chemotherapy For Stage 3 Melanoma

She's our newest she-ro!

Who is Slick Woods and how is she doing?

That's the question that everyone has been asking since the model and actress announced that she was diagnosed with Stage 3 melanoma.

It goes without saying that her announcement prompted an outpouring of support from her fans, and she responded in an interesting — and empowering — way.

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Born Simone Marie Thompson, the model and actress known as Slick Woods has been called a "boundary-pushing" It Girl, known for her tattoos, shaved head, and a gap-toothed smile.

As a model, she is best known for her campaigns for Marc Jacobs and Rihanna's Fenty Beauty and Savage X Fenty lingerie lines.

She was featured in 2018's groundbreaking all-black Pirelli calendar alongside supermodel Naomi Campbell and actress Lupita Nyong'o. And in 2019, she made her film debut opposite A$AP Ferg in Goldie.

Now 23-year old mother of son Saphir, 1, is battling cancer.

Fortunately, her prognosis looks good, so let's look at what we know about what ails her.

1. She is undergoing chemotherapy.

Slick Woods first announced that she was undergoing chemotherapy on her Instagram account.

Captioning a photo, "How I feel about chemotherapy," she left out further details, but did include a humorous hashtag — #atleastimalreadybald.

2. Woods subsequently confirmed that she has Stage 3 melanoma.

Speaking with The Shade Room, Woods revealed that she has Stage 3 melanoma.

She explained that because her cancer is rapidly spreading, she's undergoing chemotherapy with the hope of not only staving off the cancer, but preventing it from spreading.

However, she revealed that "she's currently fighting for her life."

3. What is melanoma?

Put simply, melanoma is skin cancer.

However, when melanoma reaches Stage 3 (sometimes written as Stage III), it is no longer confined to just the skin. Rather, Stage III denotes that the cancer has spread to the patient's lymph nodes, making it more serious than Stage 1 or Stage 2 melanoma.

There are also three stages of Stage 3 melanoma — 3A, 3B, and 3C, listed by order of severity.

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4. How is Stage 3 melanoma treated?

Slick Woods is currently undergoing chemotherapy for her Stage 3 melanoma, which the American Cancer Society suggests is the most effective course of treatment.

Other forms of treatment include surgery, follow-up treatments to prevent cancer from returning, and even certain vaccines are provided. However, the American Cancer Society cautions that no two patients require the exact same course of treatment, and to always follow up with a doctor before committing to a treatment regimen.

5. What is her prognosis?

While Stage 3 melanoma sounds scary, it can be managed and even placed into remission with proper treatment.

As with all cancers, the earlier it is found and treated, the better the rate of survival. The 5-year survival rate for Stage 3 melanoma, as of 2018, is 63.6%, so Slick Woods has the odds in her favor, and that's a good thing!

6. Woods has made clear that she's nobody's victim ... not even cancer's.

Slick Woods is known for her irreverent style, so it should come as no surprise that she followed up her chemotherapy announcement with not one, but two posts proclaiming she's nobody's victim.

In the first post, she posted a photo of her adorable son with the caption, "Stop treating me like a victim."

 

Stop treating me like a victim

A post shared by @ slickwoods on Nov 20, 2019 at 9:56am PST

In the second, she posted a gorgeous photo of herself on the red carpet captioned, "I thought I told y'all I'm not no victim."

You sure did, Slick Woods. We're rooting for you, baby!

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Bernadette Giacomazzo is an editor, writer, and photographer whose work has appeared in Teen Vogue, People, Us Weekly, The Source, XXL, HipHopDX, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Post, BET.com, and more. She is also the author of The Uprising series and is the CEO of the acclaimed G-Force Marketing & Publicity firm, which has been featured in The Hollywood Reporter and has scored film, television, radio, and print placements for celebrity clientele worldwide.