Shock discovery in woman's scab
A former cheerleader has revealed how an odd-looking scab on her forehead turned out to be life-threatening.
Keri Lynn Noble, from Cincinnati, Ohio loved looking tanned, leading her to develop an obsession with sunbeds.
But her addiction led her developing skin cancer on her forehead that left her with gaping hole in her face.
The now cruise ship porter said she was first diagnosed in 2016 when she noticed a scab on her forehead that wouldn't heal.
"With the brush of my T-shirt or when I washed my face the scab always would open up, and that's when I knew something was wrong," the 29-year-old said.
"I work on cruise ships, so I had to wait until I was home to see my family's skin doctor - he determined it was a basil cell carcinoma and it needed to be removed.
She explained the doctor didn't say it was directly caused by sunbeds but a mix of sun overexposure and the beds. She'd been using tanning beds since she was 16.
"I was a cheerleader for my high school, and I always wanted to look tanned in my uniform," Ms Lynn Noble said.
During her high school days she was using tanning beds frequently as the pressure to "look tanned" before football and basketball games escalated.
"As I was still in the public eye a lot, I wanted to make sure I looked like the complete package," she said.
Despite treating the basal cell carcinoma, it returned two years later, and Ms Lynn Noble was forced to undergo the same procedure (MOHS surgery), which left her with the golf ball-sized hole in her forehead.
MOHS surgery is a precise surgical technique used to treat skin cancer, and during the procedure thin layers of cancer-containing skin are progressively removed and examined until only cancer-free tissue remains.
"I was upset when they had to perform the first MOHS surgery," Ms Lynn Noble said.
"I remember growing up, my mother always talked to me about skincare and how skin cancer runs in the family, but I would just brush it off and tell her I have more of my father's skin type."
HOW SURGEON REMOVED GOLF BALL-SIZED TUMOUR
Ms Lynn Noble, who is sharing her story to warn others of the dangers of sunbeds, said even though the wound healed nicely and she thought she was in the clear, the same scab had reappeared two years later.
"This time during the MOHS procedure, the doctor had to go back in five times to remove layers of skin. The tiny skin cancer had doubled in size and turned into a tumour the size of a golf ball.
"At this point he looked at me and said I have to be sent to a plastic surgeon."
The surgeon closed up the golf ball-sized tumour on her forehead by moving and stretching the skin from her eyebrow to connect with the skin on her hairline.
"I was so pleased everything went to plan and that he (the surgeon) was able to do the procedure," Ms Lynn Noble said.
"They didn't think it was even possible, but he made it happen.
"For about two months I had one eyebrow lifted about two inches from the other, but now it has been five months and my eyebrow is almost back to normal. You can hardly even tell I had the procedure."
Following her ordeal, Ms Lynn Noble said she now never leaves the house without sunscreen and a "cute hat" and takes all measures to ensure she is protected from sun damage.
She advises others to do the same.
"While the sun is something keeping everyone on earth alive, it affects each and every one of us when we are overexposed," Ms Lynn Noble said.
"Everyone these days are trying to look the best they can look and sun tan is often associated with that."
"If we are eating healthy and keeping our bodies healthy - we need to make sure we keep our skin healthy too."
EXPERTS URGE TO APPLY SUNSCREEN DAILY IN AUSTRALIA
Australians have been warned to apply sunscreen daily as part of their morning routine to avoid incidental sun exposure.
The recommendation comes after a review was published by experts in the recent Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health.
Associate Professor Rachel Neale, from the QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, which led the review, said there was now clear evidence on the benefits of daily sunscreen use.
"Until now, most public health organisations have recommended applying sunscreen ahead of planned outdoor activities but haven't specifically recommended applying it every day as part of a morning routine," she said.
"In Australia, we get a lot of incidental sun exposure.
"In recent years, it has become clear that the DNA damage that causes skin cancer and melanoma accumulates with repeated small doses of sunlight."
Cancer Council Australia prevention adviser Craig Sinclair said if more people applied sunscreen as part of their morning routine, it would make a big difference in reducing skin cancer rates.
"Australia has one of the highest skin cancer rates in the world, and research shows that sunscreen helps prevent skin cancer, including the deadliest form, melanoma," he said.