1. ITV Report

Sunbed warning as 20-year-old fights skin cancer

Alicia Hunter has just found out she has skin cancer Credit: Alicia Hunter/Facebook

A young woman from Salford has today revealed that she is fighting skin cancer due to her sunbed use.

Alicia Hunter, 20, has just found out she has to have surgery on her face after finally having a 'strange looking patch' looked at by medical professionals six weeks ago.

Alicia Hunter has just found out she has skin cancer Credit: Alicia Hunter/Facebook

The nursing assistant at Salford Royal hospital was immediately referred to The Christie with suspected melanoma skin cancer.

After being fast-tracked for surgery, the patch of skin was removed and sent away for testing. Today she received the worst news any twenty-year-old would ever want to hear... That she has melanoma skin cancer.

Alicia had put off getting the 'strange looking patch' looked at by medics Credit: Alicia Hunter/Facebook

Alicia admits to using sunbeds like many other youngsters.

She said:

I far from want sympathy. So many people are uneducated on the dangers of sunbed use.

All I can say is too anyone who does use them, is 'rethink about what your actually doing to your body and life', I wouldn't wish this upon my worst enemy.

– Alicia Hunter

Talking about finding the strange patch of skin, Alicia says she left it for months before having it looked at.

Since last year I've brushed off having it checked out thinking it would be nothing, it appeared after I stupidly decided to start using the sun beds on a regular basis.

I was straight away referred to The Christies with a highly suspected melanoma, a form of skin cancer which seems to be rising a lot more in young people in there 20s - not only females, but also males.

After being fast tracked for surgery to have it removed it was then sent for test and today, I received the worst news any twenty-year-old would want to hear.

I have melanoma skin cancer and now face more surgery due to my own stupidity of using the sun beds.

– Alicia Hunter

Alicia, who is now awaiting more surgery to stop the cancer from spreading, says the news - which she received today - hasn't sunk in yet and she's still coming to terms with it.

I'm now awaiting more surgery to have a larger area of tissue around from the same area, and it's just a case of going from there, really.

I don't think it's quiet fully sunk in yet, but obviously I'm completely devastated as I'm the kind of person that loves to go away twice a year and use the sunbeds before I go away to gain a base tan.

– Alicia Hunter

There are definite signs that a mole could be a melanoma and should be seen by a doctor. You need to go to the doctor straight away if you have a new mole or skin change, or if you have a mole that is

  • Getting bigger Changing shape, particularly getting an irregular edge

  • Changing colour – getting darker, becoming patchy or multi shaded

  • Loss of symmetry – the two halves of your mole do not look the sameItching or painful

  • Bleeding or becoming crustyLooking inflamed

  • Research suggests that moles with 3 or more different shades of brown or black are particularly likely to be melanoma

If you have a dark area under a nail that is getting bigger and is not due to an injury you should also see your doctor.

You can also visit Cancer Research for more information.