When the cream her GP had prescribed to treat an irritating patch of eczema failed to work Kirsty Hurst-Worth decided that she would get herself checked out by a dermatologist.
It proved to be a great decision. The irritating rash turned out to be a basal cell carcinoma – a form of skin cancer caused mostly by over-exposure to the sun. But, on top of that, Dr Fiona Antony, a dermatologist at Spire Clare Park in Farnham, also spotted a melanoma on Kirsty’s back.
“I’ll be forever grateful to Dr Antony for that. The mole was reasonably easy to remove but it did give me a major shock; in fact it was terrifying!”
“I have a five year old son and I plan to be around for a long time,” said 44-year-old Kirsty, who lives in West Horsley with her husband Phil and son Otis. “To be suddenly told you have a cancer really does make you stop and think – but at least Dr Antony did spot it; I dread to think what would have happened if I hadn’t met her.”
As a child Kirsty was well protected from the sun by attentive parents who ensured she was always covered in sun cream and wearing a hat.
But, she explains: “As a teenager and young adult I was woefully neglectful – it seems I could have been, quite literally, dying for a tan!”
“Now it is Factor 50 every time and, as for Otis, I always make sure he is well protected from the sun. We spend most time in the shade and if he is in the sun I make sure he is covered by light clothing and a hat whenever possible.”
“I think I’m more alert to those around me and I am regularly telling friends that they should get moles or blemishes checked out sooner rather than later.”
Kirsty has now had her moles ‘mapped’ and will have them checked annually to track changes. She is also having regular surveillance from Dr Antony in relation to her melanoma that was caught early and successfully excised.