IT seems TracyLeanne Jefford should have swapped the X Factor for factor 50.
The singer, who found fame on the ITV show in 2017, is the latest patient to visit the UK's Dr Pimple Popper – after developing skin cancer.
TracyLeanne, 36, was diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma (BCC) after becoming addicted to sunbeds and not looking after her skin.
And Dr Emma Craythorne, who is the UK's answer to Dr Pimple Popper, is seen treating the cancerous lump on her nose during tonight's episode of The Bad Skin Clinic on Quest Red.
Talking about her shock diagnosis, TracyLeanne said: "You never think it's going to happen to you."
The mum-of-three first spotted the lump on her nose at the start of 2018 – but immediately dismissed the symptoms as nothing serious.
She said: "About a year-and-a-half ago, I came up with a little lump raising from the side of my nose.
"I was quite concerned, but I still never thought skin cancer. I had no suspicions of any skin cancer at all."
The X Factor star was soon diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma, which isn't considered life-threatening.
She visits Dr Emma during tonight's episode where she is concerned at the prospect of going under the knife to treat the tumour.
I was quite concerned, but I still never thought skin cancer. I had no suspicions of any skin cancer at all
TracyLeanne says: "I’m worried about being scarred.
"Am I going to look the same? Is my nose going to look disfigured? Am I ever going to look the same again?"
Dr Emma reassures her straightaway, explaining that although BCC is a type of cancer, it is also treatable.
She tells her: "That word cancer makes people get very worried. But this is a type of skin cancer that won’t cause problems anywhere else on your body.
"But what it does is it stays there and very slowly and gradually gets bigger."
Emma goes on to clarify that while BCC isn’t considered life-threatening, it will continue to grow if it is left untreated.
She warns: "It’s very destructive.
"I’ve had some patients who have decided to leave these or not get them treated properly, and they’ve lost their nose or their eye as a consequence."
Discussing options through with Dr Emma, TracyLeanne blames her addiction to sunbeds for causing her BCC in the first place.
She admits: "I was a constant sunbed user.
"I always felt like if I had a tan then it would give me more confidence."
Dr Emma agrees that overexposure to the sun can be a cause of BCC, saying: "It probably is sunbeds that’s lead to this, because we know the sun, in particular UV radiation, causes changes in the cells."
Dr Emma decides to operate and remove the tumour, treating the cancer.
She gets to work, cutting around the tumour with the tip of her scalpel.
After cutting the affected area, Dr Emma pinches the small disc of skin with a pair of tweezers, removes it, and runs it straight off for testing.
Analysing the tissue taken from TracyLeanne’s nose, Dr Emma can instantly see evidence of sun damage.
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 says: "This kind of swirly stuff, this is sun damage. This is purely caused by UV radiation.
"And she’s so young, and she has a lot of it."
After waiting over an hour for Dr Emma to return, TracyLeanne admits she’s nervous to see if the surgery was a success.
Dr Emma finally returns, and reveals it’s good news.
She says: "All the cancer is now cut out, that’s it all removed."
Relieved, TracyLeanne cannot help but show her gratitude to Dr Emma.
She says: "Thank God for that. I feel amazing," she says.
"Thank you Emma for everything, I feel like having a party now!"
But before the celebrations can begin, Dr Emma needs to close the wound left on TracyLeanne’s nose, which means lying back down on the operating table.
Skilfully, Dr Emma folds over the skin and stitches up the wound, bringing an end to TracyLeanne’s ordeal.
Six weeks after TracyLeanne’s surgery, and Dr Emma’s nimble work has left TracyLeanne feeling and looking great.
"The outcome of the surgery was amazing, you can barely see the scar," she says.
"As you can see, I am just so happy and full of laughter!"
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.
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