Guest star on Real Housewives of Cheshire Katie Kane has spoken out about her skin cancer battle with the warning it’s “not worth risking your health for a tan”.
Mrs Kane has lived in Gibraltar for the past six years having previously lived in Marbella and found out she first had skin cancer 11 years ago.
She shared her story earlier this week on UK national television show ‘Loose Women’ and has also appeared on the show The Real Housewives of Cheshire.
Mrs Kane’s twin sister Rachel Lugo stars in The Real Housewives of Cheshire and has invited her on the show various times.
Mrs Lugo also supported her twin during their television appearance on Loose Women.
Mrs Kane was just 32-years old and with two small children she was diagnosed with skin cancer and instantly felt “stupid and selfish” for her sunbathing past.
“The tumours on my chest were fairly superficial and once treated they haven’t returned,” she said.
“The tumour on my face has been more difficult, first of all they tried cryotherapy but it came back so we tried a cream called Aldara. The benefit of the cream is that it kills the cancer cells and it heals without a scar. The negatives are that the side effects can be horrible. I had a very large scab on my face for nearly 6 weeks, it was extremely sore and I felt incredibly dizzy and confused. I couldn’t drive for nearly 4 months until I felt normal again. I spent my 40th birthday in bed so I threw a big party seven months later instead.”
But two years later the tumour on her face returned and Mrs Kane was “devastated”.
She had preferred to undergo treatment with the cream but after a biopsy she was told the cancer was a lot deeper than originally thought.
Surgery was her only option as no other treatments would be successful.
Basel Cell Carcinomas are the most frequently occurring form of skin cancer and 131,000 cases of non-melanoma skin cancer are diagnosed in the UK each year.
After some research Mrs Kane booked a lead clinician at Guys Cancer Centre in London to conduct the surgery at the Lister Hospital in Chelsea.
Her cancer treatment was followed by The Real Housewives of Cheshire in a bid to raise awareness.
“Malignant melanoma widely known that the most dangerous form of skin cancer, and is predominately associated with changes in moles but I want to make people more aware of the signs of other types of skin cancer,” Mrs Kane told the Chronicle.
“The Housewives film crew and my twin sister went to the hospital with me, they were a big support and the process of filming it actually made me feel better about the whole thing.”
“I thought, yes I’m terrified, I don’t want to have this done, I don’t want to have my face cut open but this could help other people to get checked or better still for them not make the same mistakes as me.”
Mrs Kane used sunbeds regularly for a couple of years in her late teens and when on holiday would lie in the sun from “early morning until the sun went down”.
She has not sunbathed since her first diagnosis 11 years ago.
“The damage wasn’t done here it happened 20 years ago and will probably continue to show itself,” she said.
Her advice is for people not to use sunbeds and if they need a glow to use fake tan instead.
“It’s just not worth risking your health for a tan,” Mrs Kane said.
“The tan fades but the damage never goes away. When you’re in your teens and early twenties it’s easy to think it will never happen to me, but it really could.”
“To those sun worshippers I’d say everything in moderation and to use a good sun screen with a SPF that’s right for your skin type and that protects against both UVA and UVB filters.”
She recommends for people to shake bottles of sun cream before us as it contains active ingredients and to apply a “generous” amount, remembering to reapply throughout the day.
“To those who are concerned about any marks, however small they have on their skin that doesn’t heal, they should definitely get checked by a dermatologist,” she advised.
“I have a head to toe check up every six months and she even checks between my toes.”