The shock of grandfather after the dry skin he had had for years on his bald head turned out to be CANCER
A grandfather who had dry skin on his bald head for years was shocked that he was diagnosed with skin cancer.
Peter Wilson, 68, from Melbourne, Australia, always had rough skin on his scalp and never thought much about it.
But some plasters became increasingly ‘angry’ and a few centimeters of red spot remained on his scalp for several months.
The IT consultant has downloaded the SkinVision app that helps identify potential risks of skin cancer based on a photo. It suggested that he immediately see a doctor, which led to a referral to a dermatologist in August 2019.
Skin biopsies returned positive for squamous cell carcinoma, a common form of skin cancer that appears as a scaly or crunchy raised part of the skin.
Wilson was operated on to remove a piece of skin of two centimeters from his scalp, which was covered with a skin graft from his right thigh.
Despite postponing a doctor, his skin cancer was noticed early and did not spread to the rest of this body.
He now urges others to wear skin protection and admits that he was “blasé” about doing it daily under the Australian sun.
Peter Wilson, 68, from Melbourne, Australia, didn’t think much about the spots on his head. He was shocked when he discovered that he had skin cancer
Wilson, who has no history of skin cancer in his family, said: “It was more than a shock – I am a very active person and had to stop running … I really missed it”
Wilson had squamous cell carcinoma, a common form of skin cancer that looks like a flaky or crusty raised skin surface (photo)
Grandfather of one, Mr. Wilson said: ‘I saw some dry spots on my head and some stains for a number of years.
“My skin has always been dry, but these spots were a bit more red and angry.
“The plasters were more inflamed and did not disappear – but I didn’t think much about it.
“I did some research online and I came across the SkinVision app and scanned the spots on my head.
“They advised me to visit a specialist, but that was something I postponed for a while – my wife Isobel, 67, is a nurse and encouraged me to go to the doctors about it.”
A dermatologist took a few biopsies of the scalp and cheek. They also scanned the rest of Mr. Wilson’s body in possible other places.
Wilson said: “The biopsies returned positive for skin cancer and I was hired for an appointment to remove this infected skin.
‘It was more than a shock – I am a very active person and had to stop running for two months after the operation and go to the gym, I really missed it.
“My children were shocked and more than a little frightened and my extended family was shocked when they discovered that I had skin cancer.”
Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is the second most common type of skin cancer in the UK, after melanoma, and affects around 23,000 a year.
Non-melanoma affects an estimated three million Americans a year, and about two in three Australians will be diagnosed with skin cancer by the time they are 70, according to the Cancer Council.
SCCs usually appear as a flaky or crusty raised part of the skin with a red, inflamed base on the head, ears, neck, and back of the hands.
They are caused by changes in DNA cells, such as a burn, that can grow quickly if not treated.
The vast majority of SCCs are low-risk skin cancer and can be cured. A small number can return locally or spread to other parts of the body.
Wilson underwent a 20-minute operation under local anesthesia in October 2019.
Wilson was operated on to remove a piece of skin of two centimeters of cancer from his scalp (photo) that was covered with a skin graft from his right thigh
Wilson, pictured with a healed head, now urges others to wear skin protection and admits that he was “blasé” to do this for hours every day under the Australian sun
WHAT IS SKINVISION?
SkinVision is an app for mobile phones that assesses the risk of skin cancer for a user by analyzing their birthmarks.
After downloading the app, which costs £ 4.49 for one-time use and £ 26.99 for unlimited controls for a year, it asks questions about the skin type of the user, ranging from very reasonable to dark brown.
The user then takes three photos of each of his chosen moles on his phone.
These images are guided by an algorithm that assesses factors such as asymmetry and shape.
An assessment is performed within 30 seconds, with ‘all clear’ no action required, ‘medium risk’ means that the mole must be followed and ‘high risk’ where the user must visit a doctor.
If a user receives a risky assessment, an internal dermatologist will give a free assessment within two days to explain why there is cause for concern.
These images are then added to the algorithm, which contains more than three million images, to improve accuracy.
The app, which is available worldwide, apart from the US and Canada, also sends users reminders to visit a doctor if necessary.
A study by SkinVision showed that the app is more than 95 percent sensitive.
Surgeons took a skin graft from his right thigh and expanded it to cover the spot on his scalp. Forty staples confirmed the graft and the dressings.
Another 20 staples were used to hold a bandage against his thigh wound.
Wilson, who has no history of skin cancer in his family, said: “Recovery was quick but very uncomfortable because of the staples and I often had to change the bandages on my head and leg.
“The staples all had to come out one by one, which was quite a painful experience.
“The worst thing was the skin transplant – I had a bit of a bleeding with the bandage on my thigh, so peeling it off was unbearable.”
Fortunately, Mr Wilson was told prior to the operation that the cancer was caught early enough and was not particularly aggressive.
However, it had the potential to spread through the dermis – the tissue under the skin – in the affected area.
If not checked, it could eventually spread further into his body, so the surgeon’s strategy was to remove enough of the area to prevent further damage.
Wilson is now waiting for his dermatologist to see if he is at risk for further cases of skin cancer and urges others to be wary of suspicious-looking spots on the skin.
Wilson said: ‘In the 70s and 80s, when I was young, there was not much information about sun protection.
Wilson said the SkinVision app advised him to visit a specialist, but he postponed it for a while. His wife, Isobel, 67, urged him to go to the doctors. They are depicted with their son
Wilson, pictured after surgery with a bandage on his scalp and wounds from where his biopsies were taken, is now waiting to hear from his dermatologist if he is at risk of developing further cases of skin cancer
‘Everyone just knew that if you stayed in the sun too long, you would burn. And we were often burned while we were on the beach, swimming and surfing.
“When I was in college, I worked hay for a contractor during the Christmas break. I spent about 14 to 15 hours every day exposure to the sun and only wore boots, jeans and a singlet.
“The effects of the sun were not as bad as now, now that the ozone layer over Australia has been damaged.
“I used to be pretty blasé over the sun, but now I always wear a hat and put sunscreen on every exposed skin.”
Between 95 and 99 percent of skin cancers in Australia are caused by sun exposure, and are therefore preventable, the Cancer Council reports.
Wilson said: ‘The fact is that the sun is quite dangerous for the skin these days – you have to be crazy if you don’t use protection.
‘You really can’t afford to be blasé over the sun, you have to protect your skin in summer and winter.
“Cancer is something terrible and [if you’re not careful] you risk dying.
“Another warning to people is to look at these suspicious things early before they escalate.”
Mr. Wilson praised SkinVision for asking him to consult the doctor with his quick skin analysis using a photo.
He said: “I was impressed by the SkinVision app and I am sure it will develop into an incredibly important tool – it saved my life.
“I’m glad I noticed it early – you usually just think this is something that only happens to other people.”
WHAT DO CANCERY MILL LIKE? CHECKING IS AS EASY AS ABCDE
The more birthmarks a person has, the greater the risk of melanoma.
The following ABCDE guidelines can help people identify birthmarks that may need to be checked by a doctor.
Note birthmarks with an irregular shape.
Check for asymmetrical moles with an irregular shape
Check for serrated edges.
People should watch out for moles with irregular edges and jagged edges
If a mole changes color or one part has a different color than another, consult a doctor.
About birthmarks that change color or have a different color
Any increase in size must be checked, but be especially careful with birthmarks that are more than about 6 mm wide.
Every change in size must be checked, but more than 6 mm wide is very worrying
The E-section is generally classified as ‘height’; warns you to watch out for moles that have been lifted from the surface, especially if it is irregular.
But Dr. David Fisher, director of the melanoma program at the Massachusetts General Hospital, explains that many dermatologists have different classifications for this.
His preferred language is ‘evolve’.
Dr. Fisher told MailOnline earlier: ‘Will it change? Do you notice something suspicious or worrying? That is the key. ”
Watch out for moles that grew up or who ‘eover time