I nicked a mole shaving... and found I had cancer
A WOMAN was diagnosed with cancer after she cut her leg shaving.
Accountant Kat Caldwell went to her GP when the mole she had accidentially nicked kept bleeding.
The 29-year-old's GP immediately referred her to a dermatologist.
It was only after they removed the mole that they discovered it was a melanoma – and the cancer had spread to her lymph nodes.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Sunday, May 26 2013
After several operations to remove lymph nodes, and a 7cm portion of skin, Kat was told the cancer was gone, thanks to the early diagnosis.
Kat, a chartered accountant, said: "I was so shocked when the dermatologist told me the mole was cancerous. I was young and fit, and I'd never been one for staying out in the sun, or going on sunbeds.
"I've got very pale skin and have always had a lot of moles and freckles – but I'd never really given them too much thought. I'm so glad I spotted the change when I did though – it probably saved my life."
She added: "I wasn't concerned at all, but my GP said it looked a bit nasty, and booked me in with a dermatologist. They said the mole probably was just angry because I'd nicked it, but they removed it there and then to be on the safe side, and sent it away for tests. It was less than two weeks later when I got a call from my GP telling me it was cancer."
Her mum grew up in Zimbabwe and has had a form of skin cancer, called basal cell carcinoma, all her adult life.
She added: "I've always been very aware of looking after my skin. I have always slathered on sun cream."
As a student, she travelled to Thailand, and remembers getting a bit sun-burned. "Doctors say they'll never know if that was what caused my cancer, but it could have been."
Kat was admitted to the Royal Free Hospital, London, where medics cut away 7cm of skin from around the mole, to try to remove the cancer.
But later tests showed the cancer had spread to the lymph nodes in her groin, and Kat had further surgery to remove these. Even then, doctors only said there was a 60 per cent chance of the cancer not returning, and monitored the area closely.
But five years after discovering the original mole, Kat has now been told she only needs to return to the hospital once a year – and it's not likely the cancer will return.
Kat added: "I'm very lucky I caught my cancer when I did – but I can't stress to people enough how important it is to check your moles."