A mum was horrified to discover the 'harmless' spot on the end of her nose was actually skin cancer and was eating away at her flesh.
Mandy Pollard, 37, was told by doctors she would lose her nose in the next ten years if she didn't receive treatment and has since had to undergo a skin graft.
Even though she is not a sun worshipper, the mum-of-two was told her cancer was caused by the sun.
Now, the office manager, from Peterborough, is opening up about her health battle to warn people of the dangers of skin cancer, reminding others that anyone could be at risk.
Mandy first noticed the spot on her nose around two years ago but didn’t think much about it.
“Then it just started to change, it got bigger, it was paper thin. I would wake up in the night and my partner would say: 'Your nose is bleeding,’ she explains.
“My mum had a blemish on her arm that she had removed because it was skin cancer. I thought maybe I should get it looked at.”
Having been referred to a dermatologist and plastic surgeon, Mandy was told she needed a skin graft as soon as possible.
“I asked him what would happen if we left it and he said if you don't get this done, it's going to eat away at your nose and in the next ten years you'll be back sitting in that chair being told you have to have your whole nose taken off,” Mandy recalls.
“I really thought it was just dry skin and that I would just be given some cream for it.”
Mandy underwent the skin graft on November 5 where doctors sewed a sponge into her nose to prevent a blood clot.
They also took a skin graft from the side of her face to stitch onto her nose to cover the hole that was left from the skin cancer spot.
This week the mum had the sponge removed, but she has been left with a dark, bloody circle on the end of her nose, which has left her feeling too self-conscious to leave the house.
“I looked in the mirror for a second and then gave it back, I couldn't even look at myself,” she explains.
Mandy’s surgeon has reassured her that though it looks bad, he’s actually really pleased with how the graft has taken.
Though there is quite a lot of scabbing at the moment, the doctor said that would start to fall off.
The mum believes at the moment it looks like someone has put out a cigarette on the end of her nose and says her son won't cuddle her now.
“I got quite excited because I thought as soon as I get the sponge off, I can start putting make up on and covering it up, but I can't put make up on it, I can't cover it with my hair.
“People might think I'm vain for not wanting to go out of my house looking like this but my confidence has just shattered.”
Mandy has been told her nose could take up to a year to fully heal.
She’s taking the opportunity to talk about her experience to help raise awareness about the dangers.
The doctor said the skin cancer was due to sun damage but told Mandy it usually affects older people.
Mandy said she always wears sun cream and usually holidays in the UK so the skin cancer came as a huge shock to her.
“I just wanted to raise awareness that this can happen to anyone,” she said.
“I didn't worship the sun, I would rather put fake tan on than sit out in it.
“Even if it helps one 13-year-old who doesn't want to wear sun cream on holiday then it's worth it.”
Mandy’s warning comes as Cancer Research UK warned earlier this year that skin cancer is up 45% in the UK in the past decade.
Melanoma incidences rose in men by 53% in 2014-2016 and diagnoses in 25-49 year olds rose by 78% in 2014-16.
Melanoma skin cancer is the fifth most common cancer in the UK and the second most common in people aged 25 to 49.