Yesterday I was delighted to meet with the team from Melanoma Focus to discuss Melanoma Awareness Month.
This is an issue particularly close to my heart, because of my own family history of the disease.
Back in 2018 I noticed a blemish on my left arm and so, knowing that both my parents had had skin cancer, I decided to get myself checked out.
After a biopsy, my melanoma was confirmed, and I underwent surgery and treatment to have the cancer removed.
I was one of the lucky ones - the melanoma hadn’t spread, I wasn’t ill, and I was discharged from the specialist in 2020 free from the disease.
Whilst all I am left with now is a rather impressive ‘shark bite’ scar, the outcome could have been so very different had I not been aware of what signs to look out for and caught the cancer early.
One in 36 men and one in 47 women in the UK will be diagnosed with melanoma in their lifetime, and tragically, 2,300 people die from the disease each year, including BBC Radio Derby presenter Colin Bloomfield who passed away at the age of just 33 in April 2015 after melanoma metastasised to his lungs.
Yet 86% of melanomas are preventable.
So please, #knowyourskin, get yourself checked by your GP if you notice any new or changing moles or lesions and, crucially, protect your skin from the sun with SPF30+ sunscreen.
To find out more about melanoma, including the signs to look out for, visit melanomafocus.org