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.

$element.shareHTML.html.value $element.shareHTML.html.value $element.shareHTML.html.value $element.shareHTML.html.value $element.shareHTML.html.value $element.shareHTML.html.value $element.shareHTML.html.value $element.shareHTML.html.value

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.

$element.shareHTML.html.value $element.shareHTML.html.value $element.shareHTML.html.value $element.shareHTML.html.value $element.shareHTML.html.value $element.shareHTML.html.value $element.shareHTML.html.value $element.shareHTML.html.value

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 Ely 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 Ely 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 Ely 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

14:52
East Cambridgeshire District Council will recommend the approval of 80 additional parking spaces at Littleport rail station next week. PHOTO: Steve Williams

An additional 80 parking spaces at Littleport rail station will be given the green light next week.

45 minutes ago
ArtReach 2017 The entry by Eve from Soham Village College for the competition run by East Cambs Police PHOTO: Policing East Cambs

Creative young people are being encouraged to get their entries in for an art competition, organised by police, by the end of this month.

14:55
Ely-based nutritional ingredient supplier, Cambridge Commodities, has appointed a new sales director with more than 25 years of industry experience to “drive the company forward”. PHOTO: Cambridge Commodities.

Ely-based nutritional ingredient supplier, Cambridge Commodities, has appointed a new sales director with more than 25 years of industry experience to “drive the company forward”.

14:54
Pride in our Carers Cambridgeshire - winners 2016

Carers could be in the running for a prestigious award with an event that last year saw a Wisbech teenager win the title.

Most read stories

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Ely Standard e-edition E-edition
HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter