Scots dad's nose falls off in horror skin cancer battle

Steven and Shelley Frame warn of the dangers of Scotland's sunny weather -Credit:UGC
Steven and Shelley Frame warn of the dangers of Scotland's sunny weather -Credit:UGC

A dad-of-three has warned about the dangers of Scottish sunshine after he lost his nose to skin cancer.

Steven Frame, 36, had to have his nose removed and remodelled from skin from his forehead after sunshine sparked a tumour.

Now he and his wife Shelley want to highlight the risks from UV rays - telling how the sun in Scotland can be as dangerous as it is abroad.

Steven, who is dad to Taylor, 13, Tommy, five, and Evie, three, had suffered an earlier burn on his nose after a camping gas cannister exploded in his face.

Steven’s ears, nose and forehead were badly burned and made his skin more vulnerable to the sun’s rays.

Two years later his skin cancer ordeal started - ending up with his nose having to be removed.

Steven had a spot on the right side of his nose which he kept popping but it kept returning.

Steven, from Wishaw, Lanarkshire sought advice from his GP but was initially told it was simply a cyst.

Shelley said: “They just said it was a cyst or a spot. Then he knocked the scab off it and there was a hole in his nose.”
Steven added: “I was concerned because it wasn’t painful when I popped or squeezed it and when I did pop it, it swelled to about 5cm.

“It kept getting bigger. When the scab came off it was like a volcano. I could see right into the back of my nose.”

Steven had an operation to cut away the cancer but tests showed the disease was deeper into his nose -Credit:UGC
Steven had an operation to cut away the cancer but tests showed the disease was deeper into his nose -Credit:UGC

After insisting something serious was wrong Steven was referred to Monklands Hospital, Airdrie where he was finally diagnosed with skin cancer on his nose.

A week later he underwent surgery to have the cancer cut out.

However, a biopsy revealed the cancer was deeper than originally thought and within a month he had four surgeries taking away all the flesh on his nose.

In order to create a new nose surgeons removed a flap of skin extending from his eyebrow to just under his hairline.

Because of where the skin was removed from his forehead, the tip of his nose still grows a “fringe” of head hair.

The NHS promised to remove it with laser treatment but the backlog of cases since Covid means it has not yet happened so Steven has to shave it.

His mental health has also suffered because of the trauma of his cancer battle and he continues to have every spot which doesn’t clear up quickly checked out.

He has had several other spots removed as a precaution but all have been benign.

Shelley says she now makes sure Steven always wears sunblock - even in mild Scottish sunshine.

The couple are also urging people to stay in the shade wherever possible and to always use suncream if they have vulnerable skin.

Shelley said: “Steven wasn’t a sun worshipper but just didn’t wear suncream when he was out and about.

“I am always checking he has put it on now.”

Steven’s case is now being used by doctors to highlight the dangers of skin cancer.

Shelley said: “His cancer didn’t look like other skin cancers. The NHS have since used his photos to help diagnose other people.

“We are just lucky he kept picking at his spot or it could have stayed there for a while and spread.”

Last night a Scots skin cancer charity warned Scots tend to believe they are not at risk here and ditch the sun creams and protective clothing they would use in the Med.

Chair of Melanoma Action and Support Scotland (MASScot) Leigh Smith said the greater risk to people who had previously suffered burns was now well known and those affected need to take action to protect their skin.

She said: “It is not just burns but scars as well because cell damage makes you more susceptible to skin cancer.”

But she said everyone must protect themselves from the Scottish sun.

Recently when she was in a school north of Aberdeen to give a talk on the dangers of the sun she noted that every child in the class except one were sunburnt.

She said: “I asked why they all had sunburn and they said it was their school sports day the previous day. But it hadn’t been sunny, it had been cloudy and that’s what people don’t realise.

“The UV rays can come through the cloud so even if it’s cloudy in the summer, between 11 and 3 you should still use sun protection.

“I asked the one boy who wasn’t sunburned if he hadn’t been at sports day. He said he had been but that his mum had a melanoma on her leg and always makes sure he wore sun cream.”

She stated: “Skin cancer can be really, really nasty. Ten years ago you would still die from it. You can still die now but in fewer numbers because of the new drugs.

“But the new drugs are expensive, they could bankrupt the government. That’s why a policy of prevention is so important but the Scottish Government don’t seem to be listening.”