Nurse knew tiny 'little' spot on her face was gravely serious

Lianne Jackson, a skin cancer nurse specialist at Clatterbridge Hospital's Dermatology Unit
Lianne Jackson, a skin cancer nurse specialist at Clatterbridge Hospital's Dermatology Unit -Credit:Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

A nurse was alerted to a serious health issue when she noticed an unusual "little" spot on her face. Lianne Jackson, who works as a skin cancer nurse specialist at Clatterbridge Hospital's Dermatology Unit, spotted a peculiar white mark beneath her eye in May of the previous year.

Despite its persistence, Lianne's professional knowledge led her to recognise it as a potential threat. The spot's growth and transformation prompted Lianne to get a biopsy, which resulted in a Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC) diagnosis, a type of skin cancer.

Lianne said: "It was a little white lump. It looked like a milk spot. I said to my doctors I thought it was skin cancer under my eye, and they said it was unusual at my age. We kept an eye on it, and it grew a bit more."

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She continued, "As a skin cancer nurse I knew what it was and got it removed, but it got me thinking. Had I not been a skin cancer specialist, I wouldn't have known.", reports the Liverpool Echo.

Lianne emphasised the importance of awareness, stating, "Skin cancer awareness of very much focused on melanoma, which is the deadliest form of skin cancer. The advice we give people is to check your moles, but also check your skin. Look out for spots, blisters and cuts that never go away." You can get more story updates straight to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletters here.

Lianne, a resident of Claughton, spoke about the distress of her cancer diagnosis - particularly given its location on her face. Following successful surgery to remove the malignant tissue at Whiston Hospital in St Helens, Lianne was left with a visible scar: a permanent memento of her traumatic experience.

In acknowledgement of Skin Cancer Awareness Month, celebrated annually in May, Lianne has opted to speak out about her journey once again to raise public consciousness. She strongly encourages individuals to conduct regular self-checks for potential signs of the disease.

She advises, "Perform a detailed skin check every month. Be on the lookout for any new or altered moles, non-healing areas, or other atypical signs."

Meanwhile, Macmillan Lead Cancer Nurse at Wirral University Teaching Hospital, Dawn Miller, emphasises how early detection can significantly increase treatment efficiency.

She asserts, "While some skin cancers, including certain types of melanomas, can be life-threatening due to their potential to metastasise, others like basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma are generally less likely to spread and can often be effectively managed with early intervention."

"Awareness is key to empowering people to spot early signs and seek immediate medical help."

Skincare precautions such as frequent self-examinations, adopting sun safety habits, and correctly using sunscreen, can all aid in preventing skin cancer.