A mother of two has been left with a hole in her face after dismissing skin cancer as a “stubborn” blemish.
Keely Jones was advised to see a dermatologist after her beautician noticed the red blemish on her face, but she ignored her concerns. The 40-year-old North Carolina native was convinced that the bump on her temple was just a spot, as she’d rarely exposed her skin to the sun.
“I thought it was just a stubborn one, so I just continued to pick it, and every time, it would just scab over and bleed,” Jones said. “After seeing the dermatologist, they decided to do a biopsy on my temple, as it looked concerning. A week later, I received a call and was told that I had cancer.”
The growth, which left Jones with a hole the size of a nickel, was removed and required over 20 stitches to close.
“Skin cancer can happen to anyone — I hardly used tanning beds, and always avoided the sun, and I still managed to end up with skin cancer.”
She said that even though the spot was so small, “I had to have removals three times to make sure all of the cancer was gone.”
Jones explained further: “I then had to have three more surgeries to remove the spot from my temple and to get all of the cancer out. When it was removed, and I saw the massive hole on my temple, I was so shocked — the spot was so little, but they needed to remove so much more skin. The hole was then stitched together, but luckily I had these stitches removed just last week, and it’s unlikely that I will need any more surgery. I’ll still have to go for checkups, though, because the chance of having another cancerous spot is now higher.”
She is now using her story to raise the awareness of others. “For the next few weeks, I can’t exercise, pick up the children, or sleep on my righthand side.”
“These photographs of me are more than unflattering, and as someone who works in beauty, I found it quite hard to share them,” said Jones. “But hopefully, it will help at least one person learn the importance of looking after their skin.”
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