Months after a doctor dismissed a young woman’s mole as nothing serious, another doctor diagnosed her with melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer.
Natasha Mash was 22 year old when she first saw the mole. At first, she simply tried to wipe the 2cm spot off.
“One day I saw this big mark on my arm,” Mash said. “I thought it was chocolate and tried to wipe it off.”
“Then I realized that it was a mole I had always had that had changed dramatically,” Mash said.
Mash saw a doctor about the mole, but was reassured that it was nothing to worry about.
Seven months later, she was visiting the GP with a chest infection when another doctor noticed the mole and decided to keep an eye on it. When she returned to that doctor in February for a check-up, the doctor ran some tests.
Mash recalls that “a week later I had a phone call saying that the doctor wanted to have a chat.”
“I didn’t even think that it was anything to worry about until the doctor explained that it was melanoma and they needed to take action as quickly as possible,” Mash said.
One week after her initial diagnosis, the youth worker from Watford underwent surgery; she also underwent two follow-up surgeries to make sure the cancer was completely removed.
“Never did I think something so small or seemingly insignificant could have such a big effect,” Mash said.
Even now, after the mole has been safely removed, Mash said she has check-ups every six months and checks all of her moles once a week to make sure nothing has changed.
“I am really careful in the sun now and prefer to go on holiday where it won’t be too hot,” Mash added.
How to Check Your Moles
The following ABCD rules show some changes that might indicate a ‘melanoma’, the deadliest form of skin cancer. As skin cancers vary, it is important to tell a doctor about any changes to the skin, even if they are not mentioned here.
If your GP is concerned about your skin, make sure you see a consultant dermatologist, the most expert person to diagnose a skin cancer.