Her Alarming Facebook Post Is a Reminder That Skin Cancer Isn’t Always Obvious

When Melanie Williams noticed a dark spot forming beneath her thumbnail, she assumed it was a fungal infection. After all, the mark was small and didn’t seem to be any real cause for alarm.

Still, Williams, who lives in Leeds, England, decided to get the mark checked out. Turns out, the seemingly harmless spot beneath her nail is melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer.

On July 8, Williams decided to post the photo below on Facebook to remind everyone to get any mysterious lumps, marks and changes checked out.

Melanie Williams

The post reads:

See that on my thumb? Do you know what it is? It’s skin cancer. This grew from nothing in a matter of weeks. I thought it was just a fungal infection or a wart. Sadly not. I’ve been lucky; the cancer hasn’t spread and it’s being removed next week along with half of my thumb. This may have not been the case if I’d left it and not gotten it checked out. I don’t want your sympathy, I want more awareness. Therefore, please go and get any changes or growths on your skin checked out; please tell people around you to get checked as well. Don’t leave it to chance or make excuses! I will be fighting fit in no time, but if I’d left it, I may have been losing more than a thumb. So please, don’t leave comments about how brave I am or how sorry you are, instead take that time to share this or tell someone they need to get checked or make that phone call to the doctors for yourself… P.S. If anyone knows where I can get a mini hook attachment for my stubby thumb, give me a shout!

Since Williams posted the photo two weeks ago, it’s been shared nearly 115,000 times and received numerous positive responses and well wishes, many from people who said they never would have guessed the mark on her thumb was skin cancer.

Williams added in a comment update on July 16 that she’s scheduled for most tests this week, at which point doctors will decide how much of her thumb will have to be removed.

Thank you to everyone who shared this post. Totally lost for words (for those who know me, this is rare) on the response it has received,” she wrote. “I feel proud of everyone who’s shared and taken note because of the awareness it’s raised! You lot rock!!!”

Related: The Important Reason This Woman Posted Her Graphic Selfie

h/t The Glow

Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.

Related to Skin Cancer

A Letter to the Sibling of My Child With Autism

There’s so much to say to you. You grow up in the same house as one they call “special,” and that carries more weight than we understand. It means your parents’ eyes sometimes look past you. That we take it for granted you’re whole even when you’re not. It means you give and give and [...]

When My Son With Down Syndrome Found True Inclusion at a Swim Class

Rightly or wrongly, I’ve decided I want my son, Wade, to try mainstream activities first before we try disability-specific ones. This is not a judgment about other parents’ choices. Different kids need different things. I have Plan A for Wade and then I’m prepared to go to Plan B if needed. I think it’s important [...]

What I Discovered Deep Inside of Me After My Lupus Diagnosis

Today I watched a movie full of young people doing active, energetic and daring things. They leapt, climbed, jumped and challenged themselves physically. I paused the movie at times to do my laundry, hauling it up and down the stairs. Sometimes it can be difficult or outright impossible. Today it wasn’t. Today was a good [...]

The Odd Advice My Mom Gave Me About Being a Special Needs Mom

Do you remember playing in the bathtub as a kid? The goal was not to get clean but to play until the skin on your feet and hands got wrinkly. Do you remember picking scabs, counting bruises or jumping up and down on the bed? How about spending who knows how much time figuring out [...]