After our holiday to Florida in April 2022, a mole on my thigh looked as though it was covered in dry skin.
We had worn factor 50 suncream every hour but did still burn on occasions.
My fiancé pointed it out and looked concerned - but surely at 31 I was too young for it to be anything sinister?!

It soon started to change more and fitted a lot of criteria for skin cancer - asymmetrical, irregular border, got darker, grew larger, texture change, itching. My gut started setting off the panic alarms.

I visited the Dermatology Consultant and 6 weeks after the initial excision it was confirmed as Stage 1B Malignant Melanoma.
This meant a wider excision was recommended for a clear margin and I was also offered a sentinel lymph node biopsy which I only qualified for by 0.1mm!

My statistic was 18% of it having travelled to my groin …. But my gut said take the offer despite it meaning a larger surgery.
After the second surgery it was confirmed that in that lymph node were microscopic clusters of melanoma cells which now made it Stage 3. Full body scans gave us relief that it had not spread any further.

Melanoma UK has been my go to for accurate information and reassurance that I’m not alone in feeling the emotions I’ve gone through. If supports patients and families through this journey.

Michelle Hayward