We received the following story from Matt Saunders who survived skin cancer back in 2011 and took up cycling in late summer 2012. Well worth reading for all athletes about the dangers of skin cancer.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
How Surviving Skin Cancer Changed My Life!
 
I was just a normal twenty something guy, loving my summer holidays and like most youngsters today wanting to get a tan and have that all over brown look!
 
Holidays were a must in fact I was spending at least 3-4 weeks a year in the sun, each time we planned a holiday away we looked for the hottest destinations we could find. If only I knew what damage I was doing to myself!
 
You can see from the picture below the crazy measures I was taking to get the ultimate tan. In fact sun cream was the last thing I was thinking about! using low factor oils to get that dark look.

After holidaying for many more years it was in 2011 I had decided to see a doctor as I had a mole on my foot that had grown and had started to become and irregular shape. These are the early signs to look for in skin cancer. The picture below shows the mole on my left foot.

I headed off the hospital and was a little worried when 4 doctors were looking at my foot through a microscope! They said it looked bad and needed to come out straight away. Four days latter I had the results! Yes it was cancer Melanoma. You can't explain what it's like when someone tells you-you have cancer. There was some good news that it was still on the surface layers of the skin and had not gone down into the blood stream, I was told that another 6-12 months and this would have spread into my blood stream.
 
A second operation had to be performed to remove the outer layers of skin to ensure that all the cancer had been removed. This was not without its complications! Whilst laying there watching the Doctor cut out the first stitches to ready to remove what felt like half my foot being taken away, I was told that infection had set in. In total I had 4 courses of antibiotics and a very sore foot for 6 months! the picture below shows the mess my foot was in!

I had finally been given the all clear by the Doctors and needed to be kept on their 3 month watch for the next 3 years. I was told about the dangers of the sun and how easy it is to damage your skin.
 
It was from this day forward I decided to change my life and start to get fit. I started cycling in the late summer of 2012 and have never looked back. It has helped me focus on what happened and channel my negative thoughts from the ordeal that I had gone through. I also packed in smoking with the help of cycling.
 
What to look for?
Increase in size
Irregular outline
Increase in thickness
Change in colour
Bleeding
Pain
Itching

How to prevent Skin Cancer?
Use Sun Cream
wear Long Sleeves
Stay out of the midday sun

Thanks to Matt Saunders for your survival story.