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By Harriet Ernstsons Friday 04 April 2014 Updated: 04/04 09:31
A WEBHEATH cancer survivor is calling on fellow residents to turn detective and seek out the tell-tale signs of the disease.
Lee Bevan has joined charity Cancer Research UK to urge people to get to know their body so anything out of the ordinary can be spotted quickly.
The 44-year-old engineer surveyor discovered he had skin cancer after a mole he was born with suddenly became itchy.
He asked his wife Michelle to have a look and she noticed the mole, which was about three quarters of an inch long near his shoulder blade, had changed texture and colour.
He went to his doctor who referred him to the Alexandra Hospital where it was immediately taken out and he was told there were cancer cells in the mole but none in the area surrounding where it had been.
But two years later the father of two discovered something on the side of his nose which turned out to be a basal cell carcinoma. It was taken out but returned in October 2013 so Lee had a larger area of skin removed and then had reconstructive surgery on his nose.
"Basically, both cancers were due to lying in the sun when I was younger. In the 1970s you never showed the sun any respect," he said.
"We still go to places like Spain on holiday, but now we go in May or September instead of June to August, when the sun isn’t as strong. And we wear ultraviolet t-shirts when we go swimming, and also put on big hats and loads of sunscreen.
"It is so important to be careful, but also to check your body regularly for anything unusual or different."
Martin Ledwick, head information nurse for the charity, said it was really important to know what was usual and not to be afraid to discuss any changes noticed.
"Knowing what's normal for your body gives you the edge, so you are more likely to spot unusual changes, and be able to get them checked out."
Visit www.spotcancersooner.com or call 0808 800 4040 for more information.
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