An eagle-eyed doctor manning a health marquee at Bedford’s River Festival spotted the early signs of skin cancer on one visitor.
It meant that 75 year old Ann Hester got early treatment for the disease after letting consultant dermatologist Dr Katya Burova examine a mole on her foot.
Unhappy with what she saw, Dr Burova, who was seeing people at the summer event inside the NHS Bedfordshire marquee, advised Ann to go straight to her GP on the following Monday.
She was then referred to Luton and Dunstable Hospital where doctors confirmed that Ann had a superficial spreading melanoma.
The mole was swiftly removed under local anaesthetic.
Ann requires further treatment but doctors at the hospital say her prognosis is much better because the cancer was caught early.
“I’m so grateful to Dr Burova,” said Ann. “I would never have gone to the doctor otherwise. I’m quite a healthy lady and I would have been embarrassed to think that I was wasting doctors’ time over a tiny mole.”
The NHS advises people to check their moles regularly and be aware of any change in colour or shape, or if they start bleeding.
Most changes are harmless and are due to a non-cancerous increase of pigment cells in the skin. See your GP if a mole looks unusual or becomes itchy. It can then be checked and removed if necessary.
For more information visit www.nhs.uk