A Skin Cancer
Surveillance Day is being held at Kettering
on Saturday, September 17, at the Jubilee Wing (Skin Care Centre) from
Purcell, 83, from Desborough - who had a skin cancer removed following last
year’s surveillance event – is urging anyone who has concerns about particular
moles or skin lesions to attend the free event.
Mr Purcell, who has
two children and four grandchildren, was one of the 250 people who attended
last year’s Skin Cancer Surveillance Day – an event held every year by KGH
specialist doctors and nurses who volunteer their time to help people who have
a concern about a mole or skin lesion.
The retired highway
engineer said: “Last year I saw a story in the Evening Telegraph about the
event and decided I should go along. My wife Leah died 18 months ago but she
was always saying to me that I should have a scab on my forehead looked at by a
“I had ignored it for
a long time but when I saw the article I thought I should go along to the
surveillance day because I know it would have been what Leah would have wanted
me to do.
“I went along on the
day and Dr Stevenson found that it was a skin cancer and so about a month later
I had it removed.
“I also had a second
suspicious area of skin on my neck and that was dealt with using a chemotherapy
cream - and now both areas have all cleared up.
“I would urge anyone
who has anything they are concerned about to go to this event. My cancer was a
relatively minor one but going along could save your life.”
Cancer Surveillance Day is organised by one of Kettering General
dermatologists, Dr Olivia Stevenson, who is also the Trust’s skin cancer lead.
Dr Stevenson said: “Mr Purcell had a basal cell
carcinoma which is the most common type of skin cancer and is very treatable
either by surgery or using things like chemotherapy creams.
“There are several forms of skin cancer of which
mole cancer (melanoma) is the most publicised and dangerous.
“However any mole or lesion which is changing
rapidly on the skin or behaving differently from other moles, for example
changing colour, weeping, bleeding or growing faster, may be a cause for
“Sometimes people, particularly men, can
ignore these sorts of changes when they really should have them checked out by
their GP straight away as if caught early many skin cancers can be completely
Dr Stevenson said she personally sees some 20-30 new skin cancers each month at the hospital.
She said: “If
you have concerns about moles or skin irregularities you should normally visit
your GP who can refer you to a specialist if necessary. However on September 17
we are holding this special open-access clinic and awareness day which will
allow people to just drop-in to Jubilee Wing and have themselves checked out.”
The number of cases of the most dangerous
skin cancer, malignant melanoma, have risen by 43 per cent in the last decade,
according to figures released by Cancer Research.
Since the mid-1980s rates have doubled in
women and tripled in men but a recent survey showed that even though most
sunbathers knew the risks they still intended to get burned on holiday.
The clinic and awareness day will run from 10am-2pm
on a first come first served basis and patients will be able to take home
information and advice as necessary. People are also encouraged to attend for
simple safe sun and skin cancer prevention advice from the Trust’s specialist