Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

I Desperately Hope These Photos Will Be a Warning to Sunbathers

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

I Desperately Hope These Photos Will Be a Warning to Sunbathers

Article excerpt

Byline: By Matt Casey

These pictures graphically illustrate the pain and suffering skin cancer patient Joanne Siel has endured.

And as she comes to terms with the fact she may never recover her good looks, she has bravely asked the Chronicle to print them in the hope of helping others who ignore warnings about the risks from sunbathing.

Expatriate hotel worker Joanne, 54, said: "Please don't think that this is because of sun beds as I truly believe it's not. I only used sun beds once or twice a year before a holiday.

"I've been told by a cancer nurse that I had got sunburn years ago when I was young, and I did in Tangier in 1972/1973. I've since been badly burned, in South Africa in 1990, but never on my face since Tangier.

"Believe me, I had no moles or marks on my nose prior to the pain or the lumps which suddenly appeared.

"At first I thought my little dog had broken my nose when he'd thrown his head back on to my face.

"I thought I had a viral or bacterial infection that could be cured by antibiotics.

"The first plastic surgeon I saw couldn't, and wouldn't, believe that there had been no mole or mark on my nose prior to these lumps. Believe me, there had not. I offered to show him photos from a few months prior.

"All I'm trying to say is don't just expect to see a melanoma or a freckle that has changed, because it could have been there for years like mine was, and you wouldn't have any idea that you had skin cancer.

"The surgeon said the tumour had been there for years.

"What I really want to say is please be very careful in the sun. A tan isn't everything, although in the North East it seems important. But if you were in my shoes you wouldn't even consider sitting in the sun ever again.

"You can see the photographs ( and would you want to go through that? Every time I look in the mirror I could cry ( and often do.

" If it was breast or lung cancer you could deny it or try to avoid it, but with this every time I look in the mirror I see what you see now. And would you want that?

"I have to live with this for the next nine months and, believe me, it's difficult. …

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