A 44-year-old woman has opened up about how she had to have her ear amputated following a ‘self-inflicted’ melanoma. Anthea Smith, from Bolton, developed a tanning addition at the age of 14, but was unaware of the serious dangers sunbeds can cause to skin.
She first noticed a strange red spot on her outer ear in 2010, but the mark was dismissed by doctors as a ‘wart.’ Five years later, in 2015, Anthea was referred by a dermatologist to a plastic surgeon for the marks on her ear. By then, the ‘wart’ had transformed into a black and brown growth.
The surgeon proceeded to perform an emergency biopsy and diagnosed the mum-of-two with stage 3C melanoma in July 2015.
Two operations were needed to remove the melanoma, resulting in Athena losing her inner ear, lymph nodes, tragus, salivary glands and temporal bone.
The local council worker says she felt like an ‘alien’ following the first op, which left her with an exposed hole in the side of her head. The second procedure took 13 hours and removed her inner ear and middle ear, using skin from her right leg and hip to cover up the wound. Sadly, the ordeal has left the 44-year-old deaf in one ear and with constant balance issues – which she puts down to her ‘naive’ use of sunbeds.
She told the BBC: ‘I was addicted to having a tan and being tanned. Predominantly it was sunbeds because it was quicker and the results were faster. ‘Nobody should have to live with what I’m living with, all for a tan.’
Read more: https://metro.co.uk/2020/02/21/woman-ear-amputated-due-self-inflicted-melanoma-caused-sunbeds-12278745/?ito=cbshare