Deborah Meaden reveals she was diagnosed with skin cancer after her Dragon’s Den make-up artist noticed an unusual blemish on her skin

  • The Dragon’s Den star, 63, went for a check-up with her doctor and was later diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma
  • Deborah explained how she was incredibly lucky to have caught the cancer early
  • The television star says she now has to take greater care when she’s outside in the sunshine and urges people to seek medical help if they are concerned 

Deborah Meaden has praised her make-up artist for insisting she get checked for skin cancer after she noticed a blemish on her skin.

The Dragon’s Den star, 63, went for a check-up with her doctor and was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma in 2015, the second most common form of skin cancer.

The businesswoman told Vogue Williams on the Taboo Talk podcast: ‘I was aware of [how much the sun could damage my skin], I’m quite fair-skinned but oddly I’ve never really burnt and I think that was a problem for me.

Grateful: Deborah Meaden, 63, has praised her make-up artist for insisting she get checked for skin cancer after she noticed a blemish on her skin

Grateful: Deborah Meaden, 63, has praised her make-up artist for insisting she get checked for skin cancer after she noticed a blemish on her skin

‘I kind of thought that I was immune to it… I thought, I might look fair, but obviously my skin can handle it. So it was a bit of a shock when I realised there was some damage done.’  

She added: ‘I was filming Dragon’s Den, and I don’t get spots, but my make-up artist had noticed what looked like a [tiny little] whitehead that had been on my face for probably about six weeks.

‘She kept saying, ‘That’s not right, Deborah’, and I thought, ‘OK that’s really weird, I don’t usually get spots’. I was going off to Africa and I thought, before I go, I just need to get that checked out.

In time: Deborah explained how she was incredibly lucky to have caught the cancer early (pictured in 2019)

In time: Deborah explained how she was incredibly lucky to have caught the cancer early (pictured in 2019)

‘I sent a picture to my doctor, who said it could be something, it might not, but it could be something. Then he got me an appointment with a local hospital and I went along and they told me, ‘You’ve got a squamous’.’

Deborah said she was incredibly lucky to have caught the cancer early, admitting she may not have been in the same situation as she is today to tell the story if she had not sought medical help.

‘When I say I was lucky, we caught it incredibly early,’ she said.

‘I’m evangelical now about saying to people, if you’ve got a little odd pimple that won’t go, don’t just think it’s a pimple.’

Honest: The television star says she now has to take greater care when she's outside in the sunshine and urges people to seek medical help if they are concerned

Honest: The television star says she now has to take greater care when she’s outside in the sunshine and urges people to seek medical help if they are concerned

‘I’ve always looked for moles, I know all the rules about moles, I’ve never looked for something that actually looked like a whitehead. 

‘I would never have known if it wasn’t for Sue, thank goodness.’

The television star says she now has to take greater care when she’s outside in the sunshine.

She frequently checks her skin for marks and is much more aware of how the sunshine can affect her health

‘My prognosis is factor 50,’ she explained. ‘I wear a hat when I’m outside all of the time, and watch my skin. I do have regular skin checks over my whole skin.’

WHAT IS SQUAMOUS CELL CARCINOMA?

Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in the upper layers of the skin.

It often looks like scaly red patches, open sores, elevated growths with a central dip or warts, all of which may crust or bleed.

They can become disfiguring or life-threatening if allowed to grow.

More than one million people are diagnosed with SCC every year in the US. Its UK prevalence is unclear.

SCC is mainly caused by overexposure to UV light from the sun or tanning beds.

People are more likely to suffer if they: 

  • Have fair hair or skin
  • Work outdoors
  • Are over 50
  • Have a personal or family history of the disease 
  • Have a suppressed immune system, such as chemotherapy or AIDS patients 
Squamous cell carcinoma often looks like scaly red patches or open sores

Squamous cell carcinoma often looks like scaly red patches or open sores

Although SCC can occur anywhere on the body, it is most common on areas exposed to the sun, such as the face and hands. 

SCCs spotted at an early stage and removed promptly are mostly curable and cause minimal damage.

Treatment typically includes surgery to remove the growth, as well as radiotherapy and topical drugs. 

People can reduce their risk of developing the disorder by:

  • Wearing a high-factor sun cream that is reapplied at least every two hours, or more if swimming
  • Covering up with clothing 
  • Seeking shade between 10am and 4pm
  • Not using UV tanning beds

Source: Skin Cancer Foundation 

Advertisement



Source link

Originally posted 2022-08-07 09:27:33.