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Deborah Meaden was diagnosed with skin cancer after her Dragon's Den make-up artist saw blemish

Deborah Meaden was diagnosed with skin cancer after her Dragon’s Den makeup artist noticed an unusual spot on her skin

  • The Dragon’s Den star, 63, went to see her doctor for a checkup and was later diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma, the second most common form of skin cancer.
  • Deborah explained how she was incredibly lucky to have discovered the cancer early
  • The TV star says she should now pay more attention when out in the sun and urges people to seek medical help if they are concerned

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Deborah Meaden has praised her makeup artist for insisting that she be checked for skin cancer after noticing a blemish on her skin.

The Dragon’s Den star, 63, went for a checkup with her doctor and was later diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma, the second most common form of skin cancer.

The businesswoman told Vogue Williams on the Taboo talking podcast: ‘I was aware of [how much the sun could damage my skin]I have quite fair skin but oddly enough I never really got a burn and I think that was a problem for me.

Grateful: Deborah Meaden, 63, has praised her makeup artist for insisting she be checked for skin cancer after noticing a spot on her skin

Grateful: Deborah Meaden, 63, has praised her makeup artist for insisting she be checked for skin cancer after noticing a spot on her skin

“I thought I was immune to it… I thought, I may look beautiful, but it’s clear that my skin can handle it. So it was a bit of a shock when I realized damage had been done.”

She added: “I was filming Dragon’s Den and I’m not getting any spots, but my makeup artist had noticed what looked like a [tiny little] whitehead that was probably on my face for about six weeks.

She kept saying, ‘That’s not right, Deborah,’ and I thought, ‘Okay, that’s really weird, I don’t usually get spots.’ I went to Africa and I thought before I go I should get that checked out.

On time: Deborah explained how she was incredibly lucky to have contracted the cancer early (pictured in 2019)

On time: Deborah explained how she was incredibly lucky to have contracted the cancer early (pictured in 2019)

On time: Deborah explained how she was incredibly lucky to have contracted the cancer early (pictured in 2019)

“I sent a picture to my doctor, who said it could be something, maybe not, but it could be something. Then I got an appointment with a local hospital and I went along and they said to me, “You have a squamous.”

Deborah explained how incredibly lucky she was to have discovered the cancer early, and admitted that she might not have been in the same situation she is now to tell the story if she hadn’t sought medical attention.

“When I say I was lucky, we noticed it incredibly early,” she said.

“I’m evangelical now to say to people, if you have a little strange pimple that won’t go away, don’t just think it’s a pimple.”

Honest: TV star says she should now pay more attention when out in the sun and urges people to seek medical help if they are concerned

Honest: TV star says she should now pay more attention when out in the sun and urges people to seek medical help if they are concerned

Honest: TV star says she should now pay more attention when out in the sun and urges people to seek medical help if they are concerned

“I’ve always looked for moles, I know all the rules about moles, I’ve never looked for anything that actually looked like a whitehead.

“I never would have known if Sue wasn’t there, thank God.”

The television star says she should now pay more attention when she is out in the sun.

She regularly checks her skin for blemishes and is much more aware of how the sun affects her health.

“My prognosis is a factor of 50,” she explained. “I always wear a hat when I’m outside and watch my skin. I do have regular skin checks all over my skin.’

WHAT IS squamous cell carcinoma?

Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in the top layers of the skin.

It often looks like scaly red spots, open sores, raised growths with a central dip, or warts, all of which can crust or bleed.

They can become disfiguring or life-threatening if allowed to grow.

More than a million people are diagnosed with SCC each year in the US. The UK prevalence is unclear.

SCC is mainly caused by excessive exposure to UV light from the sun or tanning beds.

People are more likely to suffer if they:

  • Having light hair or light skin
  • Work outside
  • Are older than 50
  • Have a personal or family history of the disease
  • Have a suppressed immune system, such as chemotherapy or AIDS patients
Squamous cell carcinoma often looks like scaly red spots or open sores

Squamous cell carcinoma often looks like scaly red spots or open sores

Squamous cell carcinoma often looks like scaly red spots or open sores

While SCC can appear anywhere on the body, it is most common in areas exposed to the sun, such as the face and hands.

SCCs detected early and removed quickly are usually curable and cause minimal damage.

Treatment usually includes surgery to remove the growth, as well as radiation therapy and topical medications.

People can reduce their risk of developing the condition by:

  • Wearing a high factor sunscreen that is reapplied at least every two hours, or more often when swimming
  • Cover with clothes
  • Looking for shade between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
  • No use of UV tanning beds

Source: Skin Cancer Foundation

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