Mum, 50, begs Aussies to wear sunscreen after small mark on her nose ended up being skin cancer

Mum, 50, begs Australians to wear sunscreen even in winter after a small mark on her nose ended up being skin cancer – as she shares horror surgery scars left after the to have withdrawn

  • Tracy Warncken took to Facebook to share her post-surgery facial scars
  • The 50-year-old man from South Australia had a basal cell carcinoma removed
  • A huge amount of skin from his nose had to be replaced with part of his ear
  • Her message to young Australians was to wear sunscreen every day

An Australian mum has insisted on wearing sunscreen even in winter after doctors discovered skin cancer – disguised as a ‘little mark’ – on the tip of her nose.

Tracy Warncken, who lives in South Australia, took to Facebook on June 10 to beg unsuspecting sun-lovers to cover their bodies with SPF50+ every day to avoid the same fate.

‘This is not a pity post. I’m just trying to spread the word as a 50-year-old mum to all of you beautiful people,’ she said.

“PLEASE WEAR SUNSCREEN and protect your skin as much as possible. If you exercise, wear a variety of activewear. If you swim, wear a water-resistant variety.

'This is not a pity post.  I'm just trying to spread the word as a 50-year-old mum to all of you beautiful people,' she said

Tracy Warncken, who lives in South Australia, took to Facebook on June 10 to beg unsuspecting sun-lovers to cover their bodies with SPF50+ every day to avoid her same fate.

Tracy had a

Tracy had a ‘little dot’ on her nose that she mistook for a pimple before a routine skin exam showed it was actually basal cell carcinoma, a type of skin cancer that most often develops on areas of skin exposed to the sun, such as the face

‘And reapply. If the weather is nice. Wear sunscreen. If it’s cloudy. Wear sunscreen. If there is wind. Wear sunscreen. If you are only going to be outside for a short time. Wear sunscreen. If you are in the snow. Wear sunscreen.

“I have olive skin. Wear sunscreen.

Tracy had a ‘little dot’ on her nose that she mistook for a pimple before a routine skin exam showed it was actually basal cell carcinoma, a type of skin cancer that most often develops on areas of skin exposed to the sun, such as the face.

“So I had it removed but it needed a skin graft, taken from behind my ear.” At the same time, I got one next to my eye and one on my collarbone,” she said.

“So I had it removed but it needed a skin graft, taken from behind my ear.” At the same time, I got one next to my eye and one on my collarbone,” she said.

“Fast forward six months and on a follow up skin exam the report showed they can’t be sure they have it all figured out.

“So on Wednesday I had MOHS surgery to remove it. This is a process where the removed skin is checked in the laboratory on the spot and more and more is removed until it is completely gone.

Tracy shared images of what her face looked like on the second day after MOHS surgery, with a black eye, a thick purple line of stitches across her face and swollen ears and cheeks.

Tracy shared images of what her face looked like on the second day after MOHS surgery, with a black eye, a thick purple line of stitches across her face and swollen ears and cheeks.

Melanoma: the most dangerous form of skin cancer

Melanoma is the most dangerous form of skin cancer. This happens after skin cell DNA is damaged (usually from harmful UV rays) and not repaired, triggering mutations that can form malignant tumors.

causes

  • Sun exposure: UV and UVB rays from the sun and tanning booths are harmful to the skin
  • Moles: the more moles you have, the greater the risk of melanoma
  • Skin type: Lighter skin has a higher risk of melanoma
  • Hair color: redheads are more at risk than others
  • Personal history: if you’ve had melanoma once, you’re more likely to get it again
  • Family history: if previous relatives have been diagnosed, this increases your risk

Treatment

This can be done by removing the whole section of the tumor or by the surgeon removing the skin layer by layer. When a surgeon removes it layer by layer, it helps them determine exactly where the cancer stops so they don’t have to remove more skin than necessary.

The patient may decide to use a skin graft if the surgery left a discoloration or an indentation.

  • Immunotherapy, radiotherapy or chemotherapy:

This is necessary if the cancer reaches stage III or IV. This means that cancer cells have spread to lymph nodes or other organs in the body.

Prevention

  • Use sunscreen and don’t burn
  • Avoid tanning outdoors and in beds
  • Apply sunscreen 30 minutes before going out
  • Keep newborns out of the sun
  • Examine your skin monthly
  • See your doctor annually for a skin exam

Source: Skin Cancer Foundation and American Cancer Society

“I ended up with a piece of cartilage from my ear in my nose and a bit of ‘work’ was done to remove it.”

Tracy shared images of what her face looked like on the second day after MOHS surgery, with a black eye, a thick purple line of stitches across her face and swollen ears and cheeks.

“Today is the second day, so it seems like the worst. Sorry if I turned off your food today, but if nothing else, PLEASE WEAR SUNSCREEN,’ a- she declared.

Melanoma is the most common cancer among 20-39 year olds in Australia, partly because of our outdoor lifestyle and harsh climate.

Melanoma is the most common cancer among 20-39 year olds in Australia, partly because of our outdoor lifestyle and harsh climate.

‘I’m lucky. It’s not melanoma and now that it’s been treated, that should be the end of it.

Melanoma is the most common cancer among 20-39 year olds in Australia, partly because of our outdoor lifestyle and harsh climate.

This happens after skin cell DNA is damaged (usually from harmful UV rays) and not repaired, triggering mutations that can form malignant tumors.

What are the warning signs of melanoma?

The first five letters of the alphabet are a guide to help you recognize the warning signs of melanoma.

A is for Asymmetry. Most melanomas are asymmetrical. If you draw a line down the middle of the lesion, the two halves don’t match, so it looks different from a common round to oval, symmetrical mole.

B is for border. The edges of melanoma tend to be uneven and may have scalloped or jagged edges, while common moles tend to have smoother, more even edges.

It’s for the color. Multiple colors are a warning sign. While benign moles are usually a single shade of brown, a melanoma can be different shades of brown, tan, or black. As it grows, the colors red, white or blue may also appear.

D is for Diameter or Dark. Although it is ideal to detect a melanoma when it is small, it is a warning sign if a lesion is the size of a pencil eraser (about 6 mm or ¼ inch in diameter) or larger. Some experts say it’s also important to look for any lesions, regardless of size, that are darker than others. Rare, amelanotic melanomas are colorless.

E is for Evolve. Any change in the size, shape, color, or elevation of a spot on your skin, or any new symptoms, such as bleeding, itching, or crusting, can be a warning sign of melanoma.

Source: Skincancer.org

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