Mum’s melanoma shows importance of being sun smart
A jagged scar on Stacey’s right leg is a constant reminder of her brush with melanoma.
The 38-year-old mum-of-two was diagnosed with the potentially deadly form of skin cancer in June last year, after she noticed that a small mole on her thigh had changed shape.
Thankfully, the melanoma was caught early.
“The melanoma was only tiny, a quarter of the size of my fingernail, but they took out a very large section,” Stacey said.
“The scar is about 10cm long. Because I run fitness classes, I’m always in gym clothing that shows my legs – I now have this gigantic scar on my leg.”
I’ve been quite open with telling people about what happened, because most people think it’s something that will just happen to older people.
When it comes to protecting her children Ella, 4, and Harry, 6, from the sun, Stacey doesn’t take any chances.
“I’ve always been careful with my kids in the sun, but after my melanoma we’re even more careful. From everything I’ve been told by doctors, a lot of the damage gets done when you’re younger, so it’s so important that we protect our kids,” she said.
“When we want on a holiday last year, I changed all of our hats up to broad brim hats. We used to use SPF 15+ sunscreen, but I changed them all up to the maximum recommended. I also put sunscreen in my son’s school bag.
“If my kids ever complain about wearing sunscreen or hats, I’m quite quick to flash my scar!”
Stacey said her experience also taught her that anyone, young or old, can be diagnosed with skin cancer.
“I’ve been quite open with telling people about what happened, because most people think it’s something that will just happen to older people,” she said.