I had no idea I was critically ill until I spotted a tiny 'patch of eczema' on my face | The Sun

A MUM was left shocked after she discovered an innocent looking freckle which medics ignored was in fact a deadly disease.

Kay Wootten, 57, claims she was initially told the mark on her cheek, which appeared in 2018, could be eczema.

"All this could have been prevented if they just listened to me when it started to change," Kay, from Romford, London, said.

Soon after it appeared, the retired healthcare assistant said the freckle began to growing, itch and bleeding- but doctors insisted the mark was nothing serious.

In 2021, she was prescribed steroid and moisturisers which she used to no avail.

In 2022 she put her foot down and insisted on a referral for a dermatologist.

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A biopsy performed in June 2022 revealed Kay had developed stage four melanoma and since then has had surgery and over a year of chemotherapy.

"My whole life has completely changed – I try to joke it off but it's really got me down," she explained.

Melanoma, the most serious skin cancer, is diagnosed 16,000 times a year.

The deadly cancer takes the lives of 2,340 people per year, according to Cancer Research UK.

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It develops on skin that gets too much sun. 

She has since had much of her cheek removed and four cheek lifts in front and under her ear.

She also had her thyroid removed after it tested positive for melanoma.

Kay said: "I'm still ill all the time from the chemo and I can't do anything – I feel like the next year is going to be a complete waste if they can't get rid of it.

"You don't realise how much it affects your family as well. It's not just you involved it's your kids and you miss out on so much because of it."

Kay's medical centre and NHS North East London were approached for comment.

Melanoma symptoms

Like with any cancer, survival rates are best when the illness is detected fast.

That's why it's worth knowing the 8 other signs when it comes to skin cancer.

The most common sign of melanoma is the appearance of a new mole or a change in an existing mole.

  1. Mole with a mix of colours
  2. Large mole
  3. Mole that changes over time
  4. Swollen mole
  5. Bleeding mole
  6. Itchy mole
  7. Crusty mole
  8. Mole in the shape of a line under a nail

In women, the most common specific location for melanoma skin cancers in the UK is the legs.

Men are more likely to see melanomas in their trunk – the back or torso.

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