As new figures show alarming increase in skin cancer, a personal view of how ‘a stroke of fortune probably saved my life’

16:15 21 April 2014

Archant © 2006

Until three years ago skin cancer was something I had always associated with people who sunbathe – so it never really bothered me. On holiday I’ve always preferred the bar to the beach and sangria to sunshine.

But a visit to the GP on another matter, and her decision to give me a quick once over “now you’re here”, was a stroke of fortune that probably saved my life. She took one look at a mole on my back which, in her words: “I don’t like the look of,” and I was given an early appointment at West Suffolk Hospital for its removal.

It was sent away for analysis and a fortnight later, on my return from holiday, I was told it was malignant and an operation was needed.

That, too, happened at seemingly breakneck speed and within a matter of days I was booked for an operation to remove a chunk from my back – after which I was patched up, sent home and assured it had probably been caught in time and unlikely to re-occur.

But what impressed me then, and still impresses me two years later, is the meticulous after-care provided by the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.

The discovery of a small lump in my neck meant another hospital trip for an MRI scan but, happily, a false alarm.

The random nature of melanoma is chilling. Disfigurement (hence why a plastic surgeon heads up the department) is common and the disease is no respecter of the body.

It can strike anywhere and does so – often spreading at an alarming rate.

That drug treatment is affording a better outcome for many is a comfort, but the power of a tiny mole to kill remains generally unappreciated.

What I still find baffling, though, is people’s irrational behaviour when faced with irrefutable evidence that a discoloured or weeping mole can kill: I know someone whose partner has been trying to persuade him for sometime to have it checked but he stubbornly refuses.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Wisbech Standard visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Wisbech Standard staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Wisbech Standard account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More news stories

26 minutes ago
The club's oldest and youngest members Pauline Maris (far left), far right William Davis (far right) with other members and Steve Barclay cutting the ribbon.

An exciting new chapter in the history of Wisbech Tennis Club started on Sunday.

Yesterday, 16:23
Margaret Bodger

An 80-year-old woman from King’s Lynn is missing and police believe she may be in the Wisbech or Peterborough area.

Yesterday, 10:55
Welney primary school website

A tiny village school looks set to close its doors this summer after 167 years because it has become a “concern for the local authority.”

Yesterday, 17:32
Clive Howard.

A “sexual predator” who raped a student in a Norwich car park and admitted a series of attacks on women spanning almost 30 years has been sentenced to life in prison.

Most read stories

Most commented stories

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Wisbech Standard e-edition today E-edition