A dance instructor had a cancerous spot removed after a stranger on holiday suggested it could be dangerous.
Molly Grey was on holiday in the Philippines with husband Steven in December 2019, when a fellow holidaymaker spotted a small, dark spot on her knee.
The 29-year-old first dismissed the idea but "knew intuitively there was just something not right" when she noticed it had grown in July 2020, ChronicleLive reports.
After showing pictures to her GP, Molly from Stocksfield, Northumberland was referred on and was later told in August that urgent tests were needed, as medics feared she had cancer.
A month later, Molly said "my life changed forever", as she was diagnosed with stage 1b melanoma.
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Luckily, she'd been diagnosed early, before the cancer had been able to spread. In November, surgeons removed the tumour from her knee, and two lymph nodes in her groin, to reduce the chances of it coming back.
She said: "For me, it's a life-long thing that I'm going to have to live with now. I know that I'm more prone to getting melanoma, and it could come back.
"I'll now have to have three-monthly checkups for the next five years, and I have to wear suncream on any exposed skin, no matter what the weather, and keep taking vitamin D supplements.
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"I believe melanoma is very much misunderstood: I felt it was viewed by some as something you'd brought on yourself, that you could have avoided if you'd worn more suncream; and then there were people who thought, it's just skin cancer, it gets cut off, it's not a big problem.
"Your skin is your largest organ, it's very important, it's literally everywhere on your body, so we do need to take it seriously."
In January Molly raised more than £1,600 for Melanoma UK, a charity that supported her during her illness, by walking a total of 100 miles, less than three months after undergoing cancer surgery.
According to Melanoma UK, about half of all melanomas start as a change in normal skin. Telltale signs can be spotted using the 'ABCDE method':
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A – Asymmetry: Ordinary moles are usually symmetrical, melanomas are likely to be an irregular shape.
B – Border: Ordinary moles usually have a well-defined edge, melanomas are likely to have a blurred or jagged edge.
C – Colour : Ordinary moles tend to be one shade of brown; melanomas tend to be more than one colour. They may have different shades, such as brown mixed with a black, red, pink, white or blue tint.
D – Diameter: Ordinary moles are not usually bigger than the blunt end of a pencil, melanomas are usually more than 6mm wide.
E – Evolving : If you notice any changes to a mole, for example in the size, shape or colour, you should visit your GP.
Molly is raising money for Melanoma UK at https://www.melanomauk.org.uk/fundraisers/melanoma-me
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