Beauty therapist who was diagnosed with skin cancer urges others to be cautious during summer high temperatures

A South Tyneside beauty therapist is encouraging people to keep a close eye on their skin this summer following her own diagnosis of skin cancer.

Sophie Dagg, 34, who owns beauty salon La Belle Amie, in North Guards, Whitburn, went through skin cancer treatment during the pandemic and is now urging others to be more aware of potentially life-threatening changes to their skin.

Sophie, from Whitburn, got checked out during the third lockdown when her mam noticed an unusual looking mole under her shoulder blade and, after seeing her GP in January 2021, was diagnosed with malignant melanoma.

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Luckily, Sophie caught the cancer in time and underwent successful surgery to treat and remove it the same month

Sophie Dagg, 34
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Sophie said: “My mam caught sight of a weird looking mole under my shoulder blade - I never noticed it before and decided I should try and see my GP about it.

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"It was during the pandemic, so I didn’t know whether I could see my doctor but I got an appointment and after he looked at the mole, I was put on a two-week cancer referral.

“I saw a specialist at [University Hospital of North Durham] and the mole and surrounding tissue was removed. After further testing, they confirmed it was malignant melanoma.

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"It was a shock. You don’t think it will happen to you, but it can.”

As temperatures soar this summer, Sophie is now encouraging others to keep an eye on their skin and praised the Miiskin app, which can track changes to the skin using your phone.

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Sophie added: “It’s important to be aware of changes to your skin and don’t leave it to chance. I would urge anyone with any concerns to seek advice from a medical professional, as I really thought mine would have been something and nothing. I use the Miiskin app now, so I can track changes to my skin using my smartphone.

“I regularly capture and compare photos of moles and new marks, so I can see my doctor if I spot anything worrying. I encourage others to be more aware of their skin too.”

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One year on from her treatment, Sophie is being careful to not to get too much exposure from the sun and encourages others to be cautious this summer.