GRAPHIC IMAGES: Longford physiotherapist warns about dangers of skin cancer following surgery

Leitrim Observer Reporter

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Leitrim Observer Reporter

GRAPHIC IMAGES: Longford physiotherapist warns about dangers of skin cancer following surgery

This harmless looking mole required extensive invasive surgery to remove.

Well known Longford Chartered Physiotherapist, Miranda Moran, is urging everyone to become more aware of the dangers and early signs of skin cancers.

Miranda, who has a practice in Newtownforbes, recently shared post-op images in a bid to increase skin cancer awareness.

A harmless looking mole on her face proved to be a malignant melanoma and she had to have a large amount of tissue removed requiring numerous stitches down her face.

In twitter posts shared with the www.leitrimobserver.ie she said:  "Pre and post malignant melanoma excision taken this morning by my dermatologist Benvon Moran, Hermitage.

"can you share I’m trying to raise skin cancer awareness after having surgery yesterday! So innocent looking & yet so potentially dangerous".

The following shows the results after she had this tiny mole surgically removed (warning: graphic content).

Many skin changes are harmless but if you do have skin cancer spotting it early could save your life. 

Start by getting to know what is normal for your skin advise the Irish Cancer Society. After that it will be easier to spot change. Aim to check it every month. You could also see your doctor each year for a skin exam.
 
About moles and skin cancer
A normal mole is usually an evenly coloured brown, tan or black spot on your skin. It can be either flat or raised and also round or oval.  It is usually less than the size of the top of a pencil.

Moles can be there from birth or can appear during childhood or adolescence. Once a mole appears it will usually stay the same size, shape and colour for many years. It may fade away in older people. Most people have moles and almost all are harmless. But it is important to spot changes in a mole. These changes could be a sign the mole is becoming a melanoma.
 
Skin changes to look out for
Skin cancers do not all look the same. They can appear in a number of ways including any of the following:

- A small lump
- Flat, red spot
- Firm, red lump
- A lump or spot that is tender to touch
- An ulcer that will not heal
- A lump with a scaly or horny top
- Rough, scaly patches
- A new or changing mole

Non-melanoma often appears as one of the following:
- A new growth or sore that does not heal in a few weeks.
- A spot or sore that continues to itch, hurt, crust, scab or bleed.
- A skin ulcer not explained by other causes.

Melanoma mainly develops from a new mole or a change to an existing mole.  The changes to watch out in existing moles are:
Change in shape: From a round and regular shape to ragged edges or an irregular shape with one half unlike the other.
Change in size: From the size of the top of a pencil and getting bigger.
Change in colour: From one colour to many shades of tan, brown or other colours. Some melanomas can also lose colour
- The mole looks red or inflamed around the edges
- The mole is bleeding, oozing or crusting
- The mole starts to feel different, for example, slightly itchy or painful.
As not all melanomas develop from moles it is important to speak to your doctor if you spot other skin changes that are unusual for you.
 
How to check your skin
If you have difficulty checking your skin you could ask your doctor or a friend to check those hard to see places. You could also use two mirrors to check your entire body.

Self examination for melanoma
Check yourself regularly - remember, early detection and treatment offers an excellent chance of a cure. If you are unsure, speak to your GP immediately.