My “pimple” turned out to be cancer – the warning signs I ignored

Health

May 4, 2023 | 4:32 p.m.


A New Zealand woman who thought she had a pimple on her nose said it was actually a very common form of skin cancer.

Now she’s trying to raise awareness of the warning signs she ignored.

Michelle Davis said she discovered a red bump on her nose in April 2022 – initially dismissing it as nothing major.

“I was like, ‘What am I doing to get a pimple at 52? “,” Davis recalled to SWNS. “It’ll pass, I kept telling myself.”

The account manager spent months using concealer to hide the bump in hopes it would eventually go away.

But she said he turned purple and caught his girlfriend’s eye.

“I said, ‘It’s just a button,'” Davis defended. “I was in denial.”

It wasn’t until January 2023, after the spot got “really sore” and felt “like a volcano under the skin,” that Davis tried to squeeze it.

Michelle Davis said she discovered a red bump on her nose in April 2022 – initially dismissing it as nothing major.
Michelle Davis / SWNS

“Nothing happened,” she said. “Then it bled and bled.”

Davis said she knew immediately something was wrong, but it took a month before she finally saw her doctor.

She was shocked to learn that she had been diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma. She said she was told surgery was needed to remove the cancer from her nose.

According to the Mayo Clinic, basal cell carcinoma can appear in places that are often exposed to ultraviolet light, such as the neck or head.

They usually look like flesh-colored bumps or brown and black lesions on the skin.

The account manager spent months using concealer to hide the pimple in hopes that it would eventually go away.
Michelle Davis / SWNS

According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, approximately 3.6 million cases of basal cell carcinoma are diagnosed each year in the United States.

In April 2023 – a year after the bump was discovered – Davis underwent nasal flap surgery to remove the cancer cells.

“They cut my nose in a zigzag. They dug a crater. There was a hole at the end of my nose,” Davis said, adding that doctors removed the skin from the unaffected part of her nose to cover the incision.

Despite the hardened scar tissue, Davis said the wound is “healing well.”
Michelle Davis / SWNS

Davis revealed that her nostrils are now a different size, but says she is humbled that she was one of the lucky few who didn’t have her entire nose removed.

Despite the hardened scar tissue, the New Zealander says the wound is “healing well”.

She is monitored monthly as she is more likely to develop skin cancer again.

Davis hopes her story will encourage others to have unusual bumps and blemishes examined by medical professionals.

“If I had continued to ignore it, it would have grown much bigger,” she reasoned. “I may have gotten to the stage where they couldn’t cut it.”

“I honestly thought it was a pimple,” Davis continued. “I thought skin cancer was a mole.”

Davis says sunscreen has now become an important part of her daily routine.

“Skin blockage wasn’t a thing when I was growing up,” she explained. “Now it’s in my daily skincare.”

Although shy at first, Davis is now proud of her scar. She says she is doing everything she can to make it heal faster.

“At first I thought, I’m 52 and single, now I’m going to have this ugly nose,” she remarked. “But it’s been quite empowering, and it’s only superficial.”

“It’s what’s inside that counts,” Davis concluded.




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