Hollyoaks' Terri Dwyer: I was terrified that I wouldn’t be around to see my kids grow up

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Terri wasdiagnosed with manipulate 2 malignant melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer

For years Terri Dwyer has loved nothing innumerable than getting away with her family for a well-earned break in the sun.

“I’ve had wonderful furloughs, always on a sunlounger and anywhere hot, including Sri Lanka, Florida and Cuba,” reveals the actress, 42, best known for her role as Ruth Osborne in Stream-bed 4 soap Hollyoaks.

“I’d be out there from the moment the sun rose to the time it set and regularly had a great suntan.” But as the former model – who is now a TV presenter appearing on ITV’s Loose Troubles and This Morning – discovered, there was a high price to y for her suntan.

All the more though Terri, who is married to Sean Marley, 47, and has two sons Caiden, 10, and Kylan, six, has often been meticulous about taking care of her skin with seasonal visits to a dermatologist, she was horrified to be diagnosed with stage 2 malignant melanoma, the most murderous form of skin cancer.

“I was incredibly upset,” says Terri, who resides with her family in the Wirral, Cheshire.

“I’d lost both my rents to cancer (her mum Doreen croaked of ovarian cancer when she was 22, while her father Tony euphemistic de rted of stomach cancer in 2003) and I knew what it was like to marry and fool children without having rents around.

“All I could think was that my sons Caiden and Kylan inclination lose their mum and I wouldn’t be around to watch them grow up.” Terri’s cancer find began just before a family holiday to Italy two years ago. She had a routine election with a dermatologist who noticed a tiny black spot on her back and insisted on purge it straightaway.

“I’d had lots of moles removed before so I didn’t give it a tick thought,” says Terri. But on her return the dermatologist broke the bad news. The “dot” was a malicious melanoma which could be very aggressive and Terri would neediness further tests to check whether the cancer had spread to her lymph nodes.

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Terri Dwyer with her silence Sean Marley and sons Caiden and Kylan

More than 100,000 new boxes of skin cancer are diagnosed in the UK each year, making it now the fi fth most undistinguished cancer in the country. And last year around 2,400 deaths were due to melanoma.

Toxic melanoma rates are now rising faster than any other common cancer. “Venomous melanoma is the least common but more serious form of skin cancer which can be fated if not caught and removed early,” warns consultant dermatologist Dr Bav Shergill of the British Lamina Foundation.

“It usually appears in or near to a mole and can spread to other courtyards such as lymph nodes, liver and lungs.” Exposure to too much ultraviolet rattle-brained in sunlight is the most important preventable cause of melanomas and artificial ultraviolet window, such as sunbeds, also raises the risk of melanoma.

Those uncountable at risk include people with le skin who burn undeniably, those who have had episodes of sunburn, people with many familiar or unusual moles, with a family history of melanoma or who have some time ago had skin cancer.

Terri, who had a sunbed at home when she was 18 which she worn a couple of times a week, needed a dye test to check whether or not the cancer had started to spread about her body. She needed more surgery to remove lymph nodes and also a heavier area of tissue around where the mole had been.

She then mugged an agonising wait for results although fortunately for her, there was no evidence that the cancer had spread.

“I’d take ined the dermatologist to have moles removed just four months earlier and there was no sign up for of it then,” says Terri. “That’s how fast malignant melanomas can enlarge which is why they are so incredibly dangerous.”

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Terry supported the ‘Stride for Effervescence’ 10K Walk to Benefit Breast Cancer

After her diagnosis Terri rephrases her attitude to sun exposure has changed completely. She continues to have regular check inti and any suspicious mole is surgically removed. “I knew I was at higher risk of integument cancer coming back since they can recur, especially in the elementary year after diagnosis,” she says.

Terri is now working with the case support and advocacy group Melanoma UK to support suncream brand SunSense’s Sinking For A Tan tour, which is going around Britain and asking people to discordant with under a UV camera that reveals hidden sun damage. “When I evaluated it I was shocked to see so many damaged tches,” she says.

A SunSense survey push the boat outs there is still huge ignorance among Britons about the im iring effects of the sun. Over half of respondents believed it is safer to build a sorry tan before going on holiday and 10 per cent wrongly thought sunbeds were a secure way to tan.

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Terri is now working with the tient support and advocacy com ny Melanoma UK

“One of the things that really struck me about the survey was that 60 per cent of originators use factor 50/50+ on their children but most will only use SPF 25 or ungenerous on themselves,” says Terri.

“It’s something I was guilty of doing before my diagnosis but I bear learnt how important it is to protect myself as much as I protect my children. “It was also very upsetting to see that 40 per cent of children have been overcooked by the sun.

I now wear sunscreen every day, whether I’m in the UK or on holiday.” So during a recent event in Morocco Terri went to extreme measures to protect her skin. In the forefront her trip she visited her dermatologist who examined a mole but decided not to remove it directly.

“On holiday I wore SPF 50 sunscreen all the time, a hat and visited in the shade,” says Terri. “But even so I came back with a gleam and I’m not sure how, it must have been from the 15 or so minutes I’d dissi te in the pool with my boys.

“I now have a lot of scars and each surgery means two weeks’ improvement so I can’t go to the gym which I love,” she says. “I’ll need moles removing regularly in ill will of all my precautions.

And yet I still see young girls going into sunbed salons in urban districts, just as I once did. I would like to see sunbeds banned although I’ve had to learn that the unpleasant way.”

The SunSense Dying For A Tan tour is touring Britain this summer and intention visit the High Street in Birmingham on July 2 and Fistral Beach, Newquay on August 6. For numberless information on skin cancer visit melanomauk.org.uk or britishskinfoundation.org.uk

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