Mark on Lanarkshire woman's face turned to skin cancer after she waited FIVE years to see doctor - freetxp

Mark on Lanarkshire woman’s face turned to skin cancer after she waited FIVE years to see doctor

A mother who waited five years to get a small mark on her face checked because she didn’t want to seem vain was shocked to discover she had cancerous skin.

Kimberley Connacher, 37, from Carluke, Lanarkshire, burned her left cheek in a firework a decade ago, and always assumed the tiny red mark on her face was a result of the incident.

But soon, another ‘horrid’ lump started growing on her temple, and so her husband Steven, 40, finally booked an appointment with their doctor last December – a decision she says saved her life.

The mum-of-three was stunned to be diagnosed with Basal cell carcinoma (BCC), a form of skin cancer, and needed immediate surgery.

Kimberley with the mark on her face much bigger after the scab fell off just before surgery.  She feels lucky to be alive, having worried she would be called vain if she went to the doctor with a small facial mark

Kimberley with the mark on her face much bigger after the scab fell off just before surgery.  She feels lucky to be alive, having worried she would be called vain if she went to the doctor with a small facial mark

Kimberley with the mark on her face much bigger after the scab fell off just before surgery. She feels lucky to be alive, having worried she would be called vain if she went to the doctor with a small facial mark

Kimberley and husband Steven, showing a small mark on Kimberley's cheek.

Kimberley and husband Steven, showing a small mark on Kimberley's cheek.

Kimberley and husband Steven, showing a small mark on Kimberley’s cheek. which she assumed was caused by a firework burn a decade earlier

Kimberley recovering after surgery

Kimberley recovering after surgery

Kimberley recovering after surgery to remove Basal cell carcinoma, which appeared on her cheek and then her temple. Six weeks on from her operation, she is waiting to find out if all the cancer has been removed

Now, six weeks post-operation, the psychology student is hoping she will be in the clear and is urging anyone with suspicious lumps and bumps to see a doctor—pointing out that it is not just moles that need checking.

Kimberley said: ‘If you have a spot, mark, pimple, or mole that doesn’t look right or won’t go away please get it looked at. You are not wasting doctors’ time, you are worth their time.

‘Especially parents, I think we put our needs last. Think if it was your child or loved one what advice would you give them?

‘I’d assumed it was a burn, I didn’t think it was essential to take up a doctor’s time. To be honest, I thought they would think I was vain about a little mark on my face.

‘The surgeon told me she’d expect to see this cancer on a person aged 65 plus, not my age. So even if you are young – get it checked out.’

Kimberley and her husband Steven, who she thanks for saving her life for making an appointment with the doctor.

Kimberley and her husband Steven, who she thanks for saving her life for making an appointment with the doctor.

Kimberley and her husband Steven, who she thanks for saving her life for making an appointment with the doctor.

Kimberley in a photo showing the small mark on her cheek when it seemed very innocent.  She had always assumed it was a mark left by a firework incident.

Kimberley in a photo showing the small mark on her cheek when it seemed very innocent.  She had always assumed it was a mark left by a firework incident.

Kimberley in a photo showing the small mark on her cheek when it seemed very innocent. She had always assumed it was a mark left by a firework incident.

Kimberely remembered back in November 2012 someone lit a nearby firework display box that then fell over – forcing her to use her body to protect her youngest child.

She said: ‘I was burned on the face, just a tiny bit, on the right-hand side, on my cheek. I always assumed the mark on my face was from the burn.

‘But recently I looked back at pictures and noticed the mark had actually appeared around 2016, so it could not have been from the firework night. The burn must have healed, and this new mark appeared on the same bit around five years ago.

‘The mark on my cheek looked like a red spot. It went through a cycle of bleeding, scabbing, the scab falling off and then more bleeding.’

The other lump which appeared on her face eight months ago.

The other lump which appeared on her face eight months ago.

Kimberley shortly after surgery.

Kimberley shortly after surgery.

Kimberley showing the second pimple that appeared on her face (Left) which was in fact later diagnosed as the cancer spreading. And after surgery (right).

What you should know:

1. Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is the most common of skin cancer and the most common frequently occurring form of all cancers.

2. Because BCCs grow slowly, most are curable and cause minimal damage when caught and treated early.

3. Look for open sores, red patches, pink growths, shiny bumps, scars or growths with slightly elevated, rolled edges and/or a central indentation.

4. They rarely spread but can grow, disfigured and dangerous. Untreated, they’ll become locally invasive, grow wide and deep into the skin and destroy skin, tissue and bone.

Source: Skin Cancer Foundation www.skincancer.org/

Kimberley said she used to use factor 20 sun cream while at home in Scotland and also wore sun protection as well as a sun hat during her annual holidays abroad to Gran Canaria.

But she did use sunbeds back in 2019 once a week for a total of four months to catch a tan before going on holiday.

‘Eight months ago I noticed another lump growing on the temple of my head. It was horrid looking with a red line going through it,’ she added.

‘I tried to pop it, tried spot cream, but I could not get it to go. I noticed people looking at it. And so my husband told me he would make an appointment with the doctor because he could see it was getting me down.

‘I think I would’ve kept putting it off if my husband had not made the appointment. I am glad he did because it would have just spread. I credit him for saving my life.’

The part-time student said her civil servant husband sent photos of the areas of concern to the doctor in December, before they called her in for an appointment, where she was then referred to a hospital.

Kimberley then had a consultation with the plastic surgery team in January and was diagnosed with BCC and was told the lump she thought was an abscess, was actually where the cancer had spread.

Kimberley in recovery with the wound slowly healing after surgery.  She said she's now very conscious of any small mark that appears on her face, worried more cancerous marks have appeared.

Kimberley in recovery with the wound slowly healing after surgery.  She said she's now very conscious of any small mark that appears on her face, worried more cancerous marks have appeared.

Kimberley in recovery with the wound slowly healing after surgery. She said she’s now very conscious of any small mark that appears on her face, worried more cancerous marks have appeared.

Kimberley after surgery and is now using her social media to urge anyone else to visit the doctor with any small mark or pimple, do not delay.

Kimberley after surgery and is now using her social media to urge anyone else to visit the doctor with any small mark or pimple, do not delay.

Kimberley after surgery and is now using her social media to urge anyone else to visit the doctor with any small mark or pimple, do not delay.

She then had surgery almost immediately to remove the mark on her cheek and the extra lump on her head with borders of healthy skin, and a third area above the lump which looked like dry skin was also biopsied.

The mum of Katie, 18, David, 15, and Andrew, 12, said she’s still healing from the procedures and awaiting to be told the long term outcome.

Kimberley with her husband Steven and their three children Katie (right), Andrew, and David (left).  As a parent, Kimberley felt she sometimes neglected her health but urges everyone to check anything suspicious on their body.

Kimberley with her husband Steven and their three children Katie (right), Andrew, and David (left).  As a parent, Kimberley felt she sometimes neglected her health but urges everyone to check anything suspicious on their body.

Kimberley with her husband Steven and their three children Katie (right), Andrew, and David (left). As a parent, Kimberley felt she sometimes neglected her health but urges everyone to check anything suspicious on their body.

Kimberley said: ‘Every time I see a spot I’m now worried it could be another one. I am covered in freckles and it’s hard to keep track of what ones are new, old and different. I don’t think I will ever sit out in the direct sun again, I will definitely be sitting in the shade.

‘I have a facial scar now and I know in time it will heal. But I feel it’s a reminder of this horrible time and that I am not invincible to things my family and I had only really seen on TV. If a cancer advert comes on the TV now, everybody looks at me. Before this we just didn’t really think about it.

‘It’s made me appreciate the people in my life more. My friends and family have shown so much support and love. Everybody has been worried and I think being a parent you forget that people actually care about you.’

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