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Mark Carter

Sadly, Mark passed away in 2014, but not before he had made a real name for himself in melanoma awareness.  He appeared on regular TV news items regarding the issue of sunbeds and over exposures, and was a keen supporter of the work of Melanoma UK.

We asked Mark if he would tell us his story and here it is:-

My name is Mark and I am 55 years old and live in North Lincolnshire. I was first diagnosed with Malignant Melanoma 13.5 years ago. I noticed an irregular shaped mole on the right side of my upper chest and went to see the Doctor who decided to remove it. About a week later the Doctor rang me at work and told me the devastating news that I had Malignant Melanoma.

I was told that I would have to have a wide local excision around the site which was carried out at Medway Hospital in Kent.

After the surgery I then had 3 monthly follow ups at the Royal Marsden Hospital in London for two years, then 6 monthly and finally annual check ups,

Ten years ago my wife and I decided to move from Kent and move to North Lincolnshire for a quieter life and better house. I had a couple of annual check ups at Scunthorpe Hospital Oncology department before finally being discharged a couple of years ago.

For 13.5 years I remained clear of the disease until April of this year when I noticed a painful swelling under my left Armpit. I saw the Doctor who put me on antibiotics and the swelling shrank but never went away completely. I was referred to a surgeon who removed the lymph node and sent it for Biopsy. The results showed that my Cancer had come back and I was referred for a CT scan at Hull Royal Infirmary and also had to have an Axillary Dissection to remove most of the Lymph nodes from my left Armpit at Castle Hill Hospital near Hull.

The results of the CT scan showed fortunately that the Cancer was only confined to the Armpit region and that the rest of my body was clear. I had a second CT scan in February 2013 and was told the devastating News that my Cancer had spread to the lungs and that I was now Stage 4 (Advanced Melanoma). I have just started a Biological Therapy drug called Zelboraf and hope that it will work effectively although it is not a cure.

I have agreed for others to read my story as I want to raise as much awareness as possible about the dangers of Sun exposure, particularly in the young. I am also actively campaigning for a Sunbed Ban in the UK 

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