LIFESTYLE

Sunbed Addict Has Part Of Skull Removed After Skin Cancer Spreads

11/05/2015 13:09 BST | Updated 11/05/2015 13:59 BST

Justine Sheils started using sunbeds when she was just 15 years old.

Now, the 43-year-old has been forced to have a piece of her skull removed in order to stop the spread of skin cancer.

Sheils, from Maghull, Merseyside, was diagnosed with malignant melanoma in 2006 after she noticed a red mark on her chest.

Although the area on her chest was successfully treated, Sheils' aunt spotted a further irregularity on her head just one year later.

bald skin cancer

Surgeons have since removed the growth from Sheils' head and rebuilt part of her skull to eradicate the cancer.

"Everything I went through was the result of wanting to get a tan – over-using sunbeds, my naivety and ignoring advice," Sheils said, according to the MailOnline.

"Using sunbeds is like putting yourself in a microwave. If I was in front of a class of kids I'd tell them not to do it and to think about the long-term consequences."

The NHS worker has now been left with a bald patch roughly the size of a 50 pence piece and now suffers from epilepsy as a result of the surgery.

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According to the NHS, melanoma is the fifth most common cancer in the UK, with around 13,000 new cases diagnosed each year.

More than a quarter of those diagnosed with skin cancer are people under 50 years old, which is unusual compared to other types of cancer.

Although melanoma is not always preventable, you can reduce the risk of developing the disease by limiting your exposure to UV light.

"You can help protect yourself from sun damage by using sunscreen and dressing sensibly in the sun. Sunbeds and sunlamps should also be avoided," the NHS website states.

Sheils now hopes her story will promote skin cancer awareness and prevent others from making the same mistakes that she did.

She said: "Being diagnosed with skin cancer was one of the hardest moments in my life and I was incredibly lucky to be diagnosed when I did."

Skin cancer risk factors