In December 2021, Rebecca Turner noticed that a patch of skin on her skin had lost its pigment.
Then, shortly after, a small red lump appeared on the lighter skin of his chest.
Rightly worried, the 44-year-old nurse made an appointment with her doctor, who took pictures of the lesion and referred it to a dermatologist.
Said she would have to wait up to three weeks for her results; when she didn’t hear back, Rebecca called instead.
Rebecca found out that the dermatologist was keen to see more pictures of her lesion.
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She was then booked to see the dermatologist in person at the clinic which, at the time, was six months after her first GP appointment about the skin changes.
After having a biopsy, Rebecca said: ‘I had a letter for an appointment, eight weeks after I was first seen.
“I assumed the labs hadn’t found anything. At this point, what they had taken had grown back.
Back at the clinic, Rebecca shared, “I was alone at the appointment and overheard the consultant say to the healthcare assistant, ‘Of course it grew back, it’s a malignant melanoma .””
When told her lesion was ‘not a usual presentation’ of malignant melanoma (ie skin cancer), Rebecca was devastated by her devastating stage 2c diagnosis.
Cancer Research UK explains: “Stage 2C means the melanoma is thicker than 4mm and under the microscope the outermost layer of skin covering the tumor looks broken (ulcerated).”
Rebecca told WalesOnline: ‘Every day it’s there you have a risk of it spreading throughout your body.
The nurse is adamant that if she had been seen “within the first three weeks” of seeing her doctor for the first time, “it is very likely that my melanoma would have been stage one”.
In September 2022, Rebecca underwent surgery to remove the tumor and its surrounding lymph nodes.
Rebecca divulged, “I got used to the fact that I have to get naked and they inspect every part of my body for everything. I do skin checks myself every day.
“I’m very happy and happy that I don’t have any evidence of the disease, but that doesn’t mean it’s not present in my body. It’s just living with the fact that it can come back.
Signs of malignant melanoma, which the NHS says require a prompt visit to a GP, can include:
- You have a mole that has changed in size, shape or color
- You have a painful or itchy mole
- You have an inflamed, bleeding, or crusty mole
- You have a new or unusual mark on your skin that hasn’t gone away after a few weeks
- You have a dark area under a fingernail that was not caused by injury.
Origin of message: Daily Express
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