Melanoma survivor, 26: ‘It’s going to save your life’
REGAN Fletcher can't impress more strongly the importance of skin checks for melanoma.
As a teenager she had a potentially nasty melanoma removed from her face.
Initially fearful of being disfigured, Regan, 26, now just shrugs that thought aside with the scar tissue on her right cheek barely visible.
Instead, she is only too pleased to have had it removed - the scarring like many cancer survivors quickly being a badge of honour.
Regan said she was about 15 when the first signs occurred that a mole on her face was changing colour.
Friends and family kept telling her the mole was getting darker or commenting that the cheek had a smudge of dirt on it. She tended to have shrugged it off but some eventually saw a doctor and it was photographed.
Then at 17 as the changes became noticeable it was compared to a photo taken two years earlier that clearly showed a distinct change in appearance.
"That's why it saved my life. We had the photo to compare," Regan said.
Regan had a stage 2 melanoma removed.
Now she and husband Nathan Fletcher are only too happy to tell other friends and family to get their skin checked, especially when detecting any changes in things like moles.
"I had not thought much about it. It had not even crossed my mind it would be cancer," Regan recalls.
Now many years later she is very proactive and dismisses any fears of "hideous scars" as unimportant saying simply: it's "going to save your life".