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A woman’s black mark on her head was diagnosed as a fungal infection before she was later given devastating cancer news.

Sarah Lee, 29, spoke about her “terrifying surprise” in a bid to warn others about the dangers of sun damage to the skin.

Writing on Twitter, the BBC journalist said: “When the nurse told me the news over the phone, I was so shocked I almost collapsed.

“I wasn’t a sunbed user, I used factor 30 sun cream and I grew up in Wales, where it almost always rains,”

The BBC journalist also explained how it took after six months, three virtual family-doctor consultations, and two dermatology reviews.

The small black mark Sarah initially noticed on her head ( Sarah Lee / BBC)

Urging others to protect themselves, she said: “PLEASE don’t underestimate the damage the sun can do. Wear SPF, a hat, stay in the shade and get your moles checked.”

Melanoma is a rare skin cancer that can easily invade other parts of the body, according to the British Association of Dermatologists.

Lee initially noticed a small black mole on her scalp in July 2021 after taking a picture to check if her highlights needed redoing.

Sarah Lee was diagnosed with stage three malignant melanoma in January, five months after three different doctors had dismissed her concerns about a new mole on her scalp ( Sarah Lee / BBC)
The scar on Sarah’s neck after her operation to remove lymph nodes ( Sarah Lee / BBC)

After seeking the opinion of a doctor, she told Insider how she was immediately referred her to a dermatologist, who told her in August 2021 that the spot was likely to be benign.

But within months, the mole had “grown and multiplied,” and led Sara to seek a second opinion,

She was then referred her to another dermatologist, who arranged for the moles to be surgically removed and biopsied.

Sarah in hospital during her treatment ( Sarah Lee / BBC)

The shocking results confirmed Lee had “stage three malignant nodular melanoma,” meaning the cancer had spread to her lymph nodes.

Lee eventually went on to have an eight-hour operation to remove 24 lymph nodes.

Lee added: “When I heard the word ‘dissection,’ I instantly thought about the sad-looking fish I had to cut up in Year 11 biology. On 11 March, it was my turn to be the fish.”

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