Cheryl beats cancer by early detection



A CHECK-up may have saved Cheryl Jones' life.

Mrs Jones booked in at Rockhampton's Skin Alert clinic in April this year to have a mark on her arm checked.

The mark didn't turn out to be anything sinister but her doctor convinced her to take part in a full body check-up which revealed an advanced melanoma on her lower back.

Her doctor removed a large chunk of skin (about 1cm deep) from her back and she has now been given the all-clear, for the time being at least.

"It would have been really disastrous if I hadn't come in ... I was very lucky'' she said.

But she said she was surprised by the location of the cancer. "Where I had it wasn't somewhere that the sun goes and I think that is something people need to know about.

"You'd think you might get one on your arm but not on your back where you are pale as anything.''

However, Skin Alert cofounder Paul Elmslie said skin cancers could appear anywhere regardless of sun exposure.

"Last year we had two women who had cancers below the pubic line and we have also found them on people's backsides,'' he said.

But he said excessive sun damage was still the major cause urging people to cover up over summer.

"Most of the cancers we treat are because of old sun damage and if you are anglo-saxon you are pre-disposed to develop skin cancer,'' he said.

He recommended people keep an eye on their moles.



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