Putting our region's cancer needs first

Wrexham Skin Cancer Survivor Shares Her Story

Skin Cancer Campaign

‘I had no idea my verruca was skin cancer’ - Wrexham cancer survivor shares her story

After surviving her own experience of skin cancer, Jayne Dickson is now channelling her energy and enthusiasm into helping North West Cancer Research (NWCR) raise awareness of the disease.

Jayne Dickson, 53, from Wrexham, was diagnosed with malignant melanoma (a form of skin cancer) in 2013, after noticing what she thought was a verruca on the sole of her right foot.

She consulted her GP and after a small biopsy under local anaesthetic was shocked to learn that it was a malignant melanoma. Jayne underwent initial surgery to remove the tumour, but unfortunately the cancer had spread and she required a second operation to remove her lymph nodes.

Fortunately for Jayne, both operations were a success, removing all traces of the cancer and meaning she didn’t have to undergo chemotherapy or radiation treatment.

Jayne said: “Being told I had skin cancer was incredibly difficult but I was lucky enough to have been diagnosed when I was and have received, and continue to receive, excellent care from Whiston and Wrexham hospitals.

“Following my diagnosis, I wanted to raise money for a local charity where a large percentage of fundraiser’s money goes directly to research being carried out in the region. NWCR fitted this description as they fund life-saving cancer research in Bangor, Liverpool and Lancaster.

“I then found out that my own consultant, Mr Rowan Pritchard-Jones, who supported me throughout my diagnosis and subsequent operations was a NWCR funded researcher himself. In the five years since my diagnosis he had made some exciting, ground breaking progress in this area.

“Hearing that NWCR continue to directly fund his research into malignant melanoma with the hope to prevent others going through what I have in future, I was determined to raise money to help fund his and other researchers work.”

It has been five years since Jayne had her first operation and she was recently given the five year all clear from her cancer, which is a significant milestone. Jayne still has to be highly vigilant and regularly checks herself for changes in her skin.

She now spends her time leading a small fundraising committee for NWCR in Wrexham with her husband Ray. Jayne has fantastic support from local people and Castell Alun School in Hope have recently chosen NWCR as their chosen charity.

Over the past four years, they have raised more than £12,000 for the charity which has helped fund vital cancer research projects across North Wales, Wales and the North West of England.

Jayne and Ray will be supporting North West Cancer Research’s #suncreamselfie campaign this summer to help raise awareness of skin cancer, its symptoms and the importance of protecting yourself in the sun.

Jayne added: “Skin cancer is one of the biggest cancer killers in North Wales and having had it myself, I know how devastating the disease can be. There are lots of factors which can cause it, some of which are preventable. In my case, it was an unusual form of melanoma which was not sun related but it just shows how important it is to check your body whether you sunbathe or not.

“Being more aware of the measures we can take to protect ourselves from getting skin cancer can only be a good thing, which is why we’ll be slapping on the sun cream this summer, sharing our selfies and encouraging our friends and families to do the same.”