By Mollie Mansfield
A stunning mum of two has been left with a hole in her face after dismissing skin cancer as a ‘stubborn spot.’
Keely Jones, 40, was advised to see a dermatologist after her beautician noticed the red blemish on her face but she ignored her concerns.
Keely from North Carolina, USA, was convinced that the bump on her temple was just a spot as she’d rarely exposed her skin to the sun.
But after being tested Keely was diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma – a skin cancer that can cause extreme disfigurement if left untreated – two months ago.
The growth – which left Keely with a hole the size of a five pence piece on her forehead – was removed and required over 20 stitches to close.
She is now sharing her own story to warn others of the risks of skin cancer.
Keely, who owns a beauty company, said: “I don’t usually have blemishes on my face, so it was unusual for me to get a spot.
“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.
“After going for a facial I was advised to go and see a dermatologist after the beautician noticed the spot, but it took months to get referred to a clinic.
“I only ever used tanning beds when I was in my teens and I hardly went in the sun anymore – and when I was in the sun my face would always be covered.
“I’m lucky that I got the lump removed when it did, or it’s likely that the cancer would’ve spread across my face.
“Despite the spot being so small, I had to have removals three times to make sure all of the cancer was gone.
“I had to have over 20 stitches to close up the hole. Last week I had them taken out, so now I am just left with a small scar.
“Working in the beauty industry it does make me very self-conscious, but I hope that my story can show people the real dangers of skin cancer.”
Keely initially visited her dermatologist in September after concerns were raised about her skin.
She added: “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.
“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 stiches 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.”
Keely is now recovering after having her stitches removed on November 21 and is now using her story to raise awareness to others.
Keely said: “For the next few weeks I can’t exercise, pick up the children or sleep on my right hand side.
“These photographs of me are more than unflattering, and as someone who works in beauty I found it quite hard to share them.
“But hopefully it will help at least one person learn the importance of looking after their skin.
“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.”