Stage o awaiting excision from face. Feel low and now terrified of the sun

  • I'm sorry you're feeling low at the moment Joey, but I think it's completely understandable given what you're going through, so do be kind to yourself during this stressful and anxious time.

    I hope you won't have to wait too much longer for your excision to take place but if you'd like to have a chat about this with one of our nurses, they're available on 0808 800 4040, Monday - Friday between 9a.m - 5p.m.

    I'm sure some of our members will offer their support to you soon but in the meantime, I hope this information we have about keeping safe in the sun will alleviate some of your concerns about being out in the sun.

    Kind regards,

    Steph, Cancer Chat Moderator

  • Hi Joey66,

    I'm sorry to hear about your diagnosis and how low you feel. It's natural to feel like this after a melanoma diagnosis and to be scared to go out in the sunshine.

    Firstly, a Stage 0 (In situ) melanoma is the 'best' of a bad bunch when it comes to melanoma. It means they've caught it before it's grown below the skin (Epidermis) & into the next layer (Dermis). This means there is almost a 100% chance that the melanoma won't spread as it's not reaching the blood & lymphatic systems. Surgery will remove the whole mole & the surrounding tissue to ensure no cells have broken away & then you are 'good to go.'

    Of course, after a melanoma diagnosis the way forward is to practice good sun safety but it doesn't mean you have to hide inside from now on. Just follow these safeguards - use sunscreen, at least Factor 30 with a 4 or 5 star rating, whenever outside in the UK between March & October or all day if abroad. Seek shade at the hottest time of day, 11am to 3pm and wear a hat, sunglasses and keep the arms & legs covered where possible. Don't actively sunbathe & make sure you reapply sunscreen after swimming. If you are particularly worried about being out in the sun, take a look online for UV clothing - there are quite a few companies now that sell it, especially rash vests for swimming. Also, don't use sunbeds as they heighten the chance of getting another melanoma.

    It will take you a while to get your confidence but you will learn to relax &, as long as you follow the sun safety guide, you will find that the sun isn't your enemy. One thing - because we don't get enough exposure to Vitamin D from the sun, please ensure that your consultant or GP tests your Vitamin D level. The NICE guidelines state that new melanoma patients should have their level tested to see if they are deficient. If very deficient, they will prescribe a short term, high dose. Once at the correct level, melanoma patients then need to buy Vit D supplements over the counter to keep their level optimal to protect general health. I use an oral Vit D spray (1000iu dose) as it's absorbed into the body better - they can be found online & at good health food shops.

    Good luck with your excision,

    Angie (Stage 3 melanoma patient since 2009)