24 May 19
X FACTOR star TracyLeanne Jefford has blasted sun bed companies for not emphasising skin cancer risks after she was diagnosed with the condition.
She told The Sun her “15 minute a day” addiction to top-up tans has resulted in part of her nose having to be taken away.
TracyLeanne Jefford has been diagnosed with skin cancer on her nose
The 2017 contestant, 35, was diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma (BCC), the most common type of skin cancer, on her nose in April.
The mum of three said: “It’s completely turned my life upside down. I’m scared.
“As soon as I heard cancer we had a nervous breakdown — we’ve lost so many in our family from cancer.
“I ran out of the room because I thought, ‘What’s going to happen to me, to my children’.
“I don’t like thinking about it makes me feel emotional.
“If it was on me arm it’d be OK but it’s me nose, it’s me appearance and being in the public eye, people looking at me, I shouldn’t worry about what other people think about me because it’s about what’s inside. But from suffering from insecurities for so many years, this is what’s getting me down now.”
TracyLeanne competed on the X Factor in 2017
TracyLeanne says sun bed companies should increase awareness of risks
TracyLeanne was a popular contestant of the 2017 series when she reached the live shows with judge Nicole Scherzinger as part of her Over 28s.
She originally auditioned in 2006 and had transformed her image when she returned.
The glamorous mum had lost a whopping five and a half stone.
At the time she was divorcing her ex-husband.
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TracyLeanne first noticed a lump about a year ago but ignored it before her sister told her to visit a doctor.
When she got it first checked out she was told it was nothing to worry about.
But her persistent sister insisted she get a second opinion and went for a biopsy.
She would later be told she had skin cancer on her nose but before finding out continued to go on sun beds.
TracyLeanne was given the bombshell news two weeks ago that she had basal cell carcinoma, the most common type of skin cancer
The singer was a popular contestant of the 2017 series when she reached the live shows with judge Nicole Scherzinger as part of her Over 28s
TracyLeanne performed Jennifer Lopez’s Ain’t Yo Mama before she left the show
TracyLeanne said: “I struggled with my appearance for years.
“Having a bit of colour made me feel good about myself. It gave me more confidence.
“So I was going on the sun beds every single day for about 15 minutes.
“When I look back it, I say to myself, ‘How foolish were you?’
“When I saw stories in the paper about someone getting skin cancer from sun beds I’d think, ‘Aw dear girl’. I thought it’d never happen to me.”
She will soon have an operation where a ten pence piece-sized chunk from her nose will be taken out to be analysed to see if the cancer has spread.
TracyLeanne will also undergo reconstruction surgery as a result.
[boxout headline=”Symptoms of skin cancer”]Skin cancer is one of the most common cancers in the world.
Non-melanoma cancers are more common than melanomas, with 100,000 new cases being diagnosed every year in the UK.
The first sign of non-melanoma skin cancer is usually the appearance of a lump or discoloured patch on the skin that continues to persist after a few weeks, and slowly progresses over months or sometimes years.
Melanomas, on the other hand, is often characterised by a mole.
There are two common types of non-melanoma:
Basal cell carcinoma (accounts for 75 per cent of skin cancers): usually appears as a small, shiny pink or pearly-white lump with a waxy appearance. It can also look like a red, scaly patch. There’s sometimes some brown or black pigment within the patch. The lump slowly gets bigger and may become crusty, bleed or develop into a painless ulcer.
Squamous cell carcinoma(accounts for the other 20 per cent): appears as a firm pink lump with a rough or crusted surface. There can be a lot of surface scale and sometimes even a spiky horn sticking up from the surface. The lump is often tender to touch, bleeds easily and may develop into an ulcer.
The most common sign is a new mole or a change in an existing mole.
In most cases, melanomas have an irregular shape and are more than one colour. The mole may also be larger than normal and can sometimes be itchy or bleed. Look out for a mole which changes progressively in shape, size and/or colour.
The ABCDE checklist should help you tell the difference between a normal mole and a melanoma:
Asymmetrical – melanomas have 2 very different halves and are an irregular shape
Border – melanomas have a notched or ragged border
Colours – melanomas will be a mix of 2 or more colours
Diameter – most melanomas are larger than 6mm (1/4 inch) in diameter
Enlargement or elevation – a mole that changes size over time is more likely to be a melanoma
She is now calling for more awareness to be made about the consequences of overuse of sun beds.
She said: “I was told my face will never look the same. I’ve got to face that and deal with that on a day to day basis.
“I know with a lot of girls, they’ll go to one subbed shop, have ten or 15 minutes and then go to another shop and have another ten or 15 minutes.
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“I wanna say to them, ‘Girls, you don’t understand what it’s doing to your body’. This is so so dangerous.
“If I had seen pictures of skin cancer at the sunbed shops, like lung cancer on cigarette packets, I would’ve thought twice. I would’ve thought, ‘Ooh I don’t want that’.
“There are so many good fake tan products that are just as good and do no harm.”