Mum from Kent who spotted daughter's cancerous mole told 'you saved her life'

ITV Meridian's Tony Green spoke to Kara Leece , and Michelle Baker from the Melanoma Fund, about how to spot the early signs of skin cancer.

When Kara Leece turned 30, she celebrated by jetting off to Dubai with her mum for a week of sun, sea and relaxation.

But as her mother rubbed suntan cream into her back, she spotted a small mole, which appeared to be changing shape and colour.

Such was her concern, that Kara booked herself in with a GP as soon as she arrived home, and it was a decision that saved her life.

The personal trainer from Gravesend had no family history of skin cancer or melanoma, but she was referred immediately to a dermatologist who removed the mole straight away.

Kara's mole, and her back post-surgery

Tests later revealed Kara, who had never used a sun bed, had a fast-growing melanoma, thankfully, caught very early.

"I was really, really fortunate that it hadn't spread,"she said, "so I didn't need any further treatment in terms of operations.

"And ever since then, I've been having checks.

"Every three months. I check my lymph nodes, and check my skin.

"We were told at one appointment that if my mum hadn't noticed the mole when she did, then six months down the line, it would have been fatal.

"So yeah, it was very lucky that she had found it when she did because it was scary."

Now clear of skin cancer she's backing a campaign from the charity the Melanoma Fund to urge people to protect themselves from the sun and be aware of the risks to their skin.

Kara and her mum in Dubai


  • Melanoma can present itself as a mole, freckle or birthmark that changes in colour or increases in size or texture, bleeds or has a persistent itch.

  • These changes are normally noticed over a period of several weeks or months rather than days.

  • If this rings bells, book an appointment to see your GP as soon as possible.

CEO Michelle Baker said: "The reason Kara's mum knew about this is because someone talked to her about their own skin cancer journey.

"So she was made more aware of it, and I think this is what we need to do more of.

"Talk more about skin cancer. Talk about the risks. And if you've had it, then make people aware of the risk.

"Because this is one of the reasons why Kara's diagnosis was made.

Kara is urging people to use strong sunscreen and limit their time in the sun

Kara agrees; "Make sure you check your skin no matter how old you all get and learn about the facts about melanoma and other forms of skin cancer.

"I never thought that I would be dealing with melanoma ever."

So is she grateful to her mother?

"Yes, absolutely! Everywhere I go, they say that she's been an absolute hero.

"She saved my life."