A DAD who had to have a large chunk of his neck removed is why doctor are worried sunbathers are not regularly checking their spots and freckles for signs of skin cancer.
Ryan Glossop, 37, decided to get his skin checked in November after a friend died of skin cancer and it might have saved his life.
A small mole on the back of Ryan’s neck was diagnosed as cancerous.
Ryan underwent two surgeries but the results were still coming back as abnormal.
He then had a third operation in January to remove scarring from earlier procedures as well as remove more tissue around the main area but still he was not given the all clear.
The health and safety adviser from Perth then had a fourth operation in May to remove even more skin and have skin grafts taken from both his legs to replace the skin that was taken away.
A chunk of skin measuring 40cm long and 8 cm wide was removed from the back of both legs to cover the patch on the back of his leg.
The father-of-two, a son aged 8 and a four-year-old daughter, described his ordeal as “quite scary,” and it had been “life-changing”.
Be clear on cancer
The NHS advises to get any change to a mole, freckle or normal patch of skin by a doctor.
Early detection makes it easier to treat and could save your life.
What to look for
The most common sign of skin cancer is a change to a mole, freckle or normal patch of skin.
It’s important to know your skin and what it looks like normally so you notice any unusual or persistent changes.
Use a mirror, or ask your partner or a friend to check the areas of your skin that you can’t see.
Symmetry – do the two sides look different?
Border – edges can be blurred or jagged
Colour – there can be an uneven colour with more than one shade
Size – a large size, usually at least the size of the end of a pencil
But there are also other possible signs you might have skin cancer.
- a new growth or sore that doesn’t heal
- a spot, mole or sore that itches or hurts
- a mole or growth that bleeds, crusts or scabs
If you are worried you have any of these signs you are urged to see your GP as soon as possible.
He told Yahoo News Australia: “Going through that was scary at first, but then once they said ‘if we can get this skin graft done, we think you’ll be in the clear’, it was more dealing with the fact I’d have fairly significant scars.”
Ryan added that he hoped to change the public’s perception of the treatment of melanomas and skin cancer by going public with his experience.
He said: “It’s a common perception that melanoma, although can be deadly, can be removed pretty easily and there’s only a small scar.”
Ryan continued: “It’s been life-changing as you’d expect.”
Ryan encouraged others not only to pay attention to skin safety advice but to also seek specialist care if they are suspicious of new moles or freckles.
Ryan’s wife Fallon took to Facebook to also help spread the word.
She wrote: “The thing is, with any skin cancer, not only do they remove the affected area of skin, but they also take a boundary around it.
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“Ryan’s boundaries kept coming back abnormal, which was then found to be a skin condition called Nevus Spillus. It’s very rare for it to transition into melanoma, but in his case it did.”
Ultimately Ryan had to go through around 40 neck, back and lung biopsies as well as the four painful operations.
Both his children are now being screened to assess the risk of them being affected by skin cancer in the future.