An Asda worker has been praised after bravely sharing his terminal skin cancer diagnosis and the red flag symptoms that preceded it.
Dom Edwards found an itchy mole on his back and, after seeking medical advice, the 52-year-old received a skin cancer diagnosis in 2009.
The senior director for commercial produce at the supermarket chain has since been told that his cancer is terminal after spreading and becoming stage four, and is now an advocate for taking measures that can prevent the disease.
Dad of two Dom spoke out during the heatwave to encourage others to use high-factor sun cream and take other measures that can reduce the impact of exposure to sunlight.
Asda said in a statement reported by the Manchester Evening News : “With the heatwave bringing blue skies and record temperatures across the country our colleague Dom is getting behind a campaign warning of the dangers of skin cancer and urging people to stay safe in the sun.
“Dom, who’s Senior Director for Produce Commercial at Asda, noticed an itchy mole on his back in 2008, which was later confirmed as skin cancer.
“He’s undergone a series of major operations and has regular treatment but, after the melanoma spread to his lymph nodes, spine and organs, had the devastating news that he has stage four terminal cancer.
“Dom, who lives in north Leeds, is determined to use his experience to help other people.”
Dom spoke earlier this week of the importance of trying to prevent skin cancer.
He said: “I don’t think we knew as much when I was younger – I don’t remember if I wore wearing enough sun cream when I was child.
“I can’t recall a particular time when I got severely sunburnt, but I’m sure I had a few instances of being red.
“I think it’s really important to talk to people and share my story, as I think a personal story stays with you so much more than facts, figures and advice, and I really want to raise awareness of this, as prevention is better than any cure.”
Dom has been flooded with praise for spreading awareness of the symptoms to people. Both shoppers and Asda have thanked him for telling his story.
Linda Martell Vass said: “Thank-you so much for sharing I too had skin cancer removed on my chest and behind my knee and I too would love to warn others please stay out of the direct sunlight and always always protect yourself with factor 50 and also hats and sunglasses.”
Liz Phillips wrote: “Thank-you for sharing your story. Prayers are with you during these difficult days. And we hope folk will get the message and safe guard themselves and their children.
“Unfortunately when you are young you don’t think what might happen in the future. God bless you, you are a very brave young man.”
Amie Wright wrote: “Thank you for sharing your story. Sending positive vibes for your ongoing treatment.
“The biggest thing for people to remember is the alphabet ABCDE and always ask your GP to check it if in doubt
“The ABCDE rule for skin cancer is a handy acronym that can help you identify potential skin cancers. The letters stand for ‘Asymmetrical, Border, Colour, Diameter, Evolving’.
“A new or changing spot or mole on your skin may be a sign of cancer. When in doubt, it’s best to have a doctor check it out.”
Gillian Nuttall said: “Great awareness piece. Hope the immunotherapy continues to work. Not enough people know about this disease. Melanoma kills 7 people ever day in the UK.”
Responding to the kind comments, Asda said: “Dom has asked us to pass on his thanks to everyone for their kind wishes and messages of support.
“He’d also like to thank everyone who’s contacted Cancer Research after reading his story. If you’ve got any health concerns at all or notice anything unusual, please contact your GP.”