News and events Patient stories ALEX BAKER - MY MELANOMA STORY In July 2017, Alex Baker noticed a small growth on his right shin. Here he shares his story, including several graphic photographs. In 2017 from July onwards I noticed a small growth on my right shin. Never really thought much about it other than it was a wart or something like that. By August it had doubled in size and look peculiar. I went to the doctor to investigate it. I was told it was nothing to worry about. By September the size had doubled again and I went back to see my GP. I was told I would receive a referral, but again told that it wasn't anything to be too concerned about. In November I went back again, they saw my concern and I was referred to see a dermatologist in January 2018. When I saw the dermatologist he looked immediately concerned and said he wouldn’t rule out a Amelanotic melanoma. I had no idea what this was and I was calm. In February 2018 this was removed for testing, and on Valentine’s Day 2018 I was called in to hospital to be told the scary news that I had cancer. I was referred immediately to the Christie hospital. They were amazing. Within a month of being referred I was having my first operation, performing a wide excision and reconstructed rotation flap together with a sentinel node biopsy. A month later I went for a check up and I was told my cancer had spread to my lymph nodes. I had started as a stage 2 (b) now I was a stage 3 (c). See further information on stages Stages of melanoma. In May that year I had an operation to remove all lymph nodes in my right leg. The results came back clear and still to this day I have CT scans and regular checks. Unfortunately, resulting from my cancer I have had sepsis twice, cellulitis 3three times, meningitis and pneumonia. Alex, we thank you for sharing your story.