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Bournemouth skin cancer survivor backs awareness campaign
A BUSINESSMAN who survived skin cancer is backing an awareness campaign as the sun finally begins to shine.
Hugh Gibaud, 56, a father-of-two from Southbourne , wants middle-aged people in particular to be aware of the warning signs.
He knows from personal experience the importance of spotting skin cancer early.
He was diagnosed with malignant melanoma just over three years ago after noticing a bump with a black mark on his face.
He had had moles checked in the past, but thought it was probably just an age spot.
“Like many men my age I was concerned I might be bothering the doctor over nothing,” said Hugh, a semi-retired independent financial adviser.
It wasn’t until a close friend persuaded him to get it checked out that Hugh went to his GP.
Hugh, who believes long periods of exposure to the sun riding a motorbike in Morocco and the Sahara in the 1970s contributed to his diagnosis, said: “I owe my life to my friend.”
He now uses the “lucky scar” from life-saving surgery to raise awareness of the importance of detecting skin cancer early.
At a recent three-yearly hospital check-up Hugh was signed off, and will only return if he spots anything unusual.
Cancer Research UK said that across Britain, rates of malignant melanoma – the most dangerous form of skin cancer – have tripled for the over 50s in the last 30 years. The latest figures show that the total number of cases of malignant melanoma for all ages increased by five per cent between 2009 and 2010.
The stark rise has prompted Tesco to launch a new in-store awareness campaign with Cancer Research UK, as part of their Charity of the Year partnership.
Hugh said: “I know if my cancer hadn’t been caught early, things could have been very different for me. That’s why I’m delighted to back the partnership.”