Shane, previously a landscaper in the construction industry and now Landscape Sector Manager for CTD Tiles was diagnosed with melanoma skin cancer on the base of his back in April 2017. He underwent surgery to remove the mole and had lymph nodes from his groin removed as a precaution to check if the cancer had spread, for which the results came back clear.

Everything had been tickity boo until November that year when Shane became ill overnight. Shane said, "I felt like I had been hit by a bus and had a painful swelling in my right armpit." The doctors sent him for an ultrasound which showed a mass they didn’t like the look of. "My wife and I didn’t expect anything bad as I was feeling back to my normal self after a prescription of antibiotics and the swelling had reduced although not disappeared. We just put it down to a virus."

The results came back as secondary melanoma skin cancer and he was told that the melanoma skin cancer he'd had the previous year had spread. The doctor removed all lymph nodes under his arm, carried out a biopsy on the 5cm mass they found, and then discussed further treatment. Shane then underwent a year of immunotherapy, which ended March 2020 and he’ll now have yearly scans for the next 5 years.

Shane (aged 46) is keen to raise awareness of melanoma skin cancer, particularly in the landscaping and building industry where many people work outdoors and don’t use enough sun protection.

“I used to be a landscape gardener and I now work with thousands of landscapers and builders - lots of people who work outdoors. I worked outdoors most of the day alongside my dad who was also in the industry and we didn’t really think about covering up or using sunscreen - awareness wasn’t like it is today. I used to be out there working with my top off - I changed the way I work because of my experience.

Everyone is talking about Covid-19, and it has been beautiful weather lately, but taking care of yourself in the sun is just as important as it’s ever been.”

Shane is a Builders Merchants Federation ambassador, helping to raise awareness of melanoma skin cancer whilst trying to attract young people to the builder’s industry as a career.

“For me this has been a big learning experience. Whilst I can’t change it, I can tell my story and stop others from experiencing what I’ve been through.”