An X-Factor finalist has revealed her relief as she had the tumour cut off her nose in The Bad Skin Clinic.
Tonight’s episode of the Quest Red show focuses on TracyLeanne Jefford, 36, who first found fame in 2017 as a finalist on long-running talent show the X-Factor.
But in April this year, the singer’s world was turned upside down when she was diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma (BCC) – the most common type of skin cancer.
‘You never ever think it’s going to happen to you,’ TracyLeanne explains. ‘About a year-and-a-half ago, I came up with a little lump raising from the side of my nose.’
‘I was quite concerned, but I still never thought skin cancer. I had no suspicions of any skin cancer at all.’
TracyLeanne Jefford, 36, who first found fame in 2017 as a finalist on the X Factor, has her tumour cut off her nose in The Bad Skin Clinic. Pictured, before her surgery
The singer was diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma (BCC) – the most common type of skin cancer – in April this year. Pictured, Tracey Leanne after her MOHS surgery
Facing going under the knife to treat the tumour, TracyLeanne is worried about the affects surgery could have on her appearance.
‘I’m worried about being scarred,’ she says. ‘Am I going to look the same? Is my nose going to look disfigured? Am I ever going to look the same again?’
Arriving at 152 Harley Street to meet skin cancer expert Dr Emma Craythorne, TracyLeanne is understandably feeling nervous.
But Dr Emma reassures her straight away, explaining that although BCC is a type of cancer, it is also treatable.
‘That word cancer makes people get very worried,’ explains the expert. ‘But this is a type of skin cancer that won’t cause problems anywhere else on your body. But what it does is it stays there and very slowly and gradually gets bigger.’
TracyLeanne says she’s worried about the affects surgery could have on her appearance. Pictured before
Dr Emma (pictured left) reassures the singer that although BCC is a type of cancer, it is also treatable. Pictured, the expert looks at TraceyLeanne’s cancer
Dr Emma tells the X-Factor finalist that BCC isn’t considered life-threatening but it will continue to grow if left untreated. Pictured, performing MOHS surgery
As Dr Emma goes on to clarify, while BCC isn’t considered life-threatening, it will continue to grow if left untreated.
‘It’s [BCC tumours] very destructive,’ she reveals. ‘I’ve had some patients who have decided to leave these or not get them treated properly, and they’ve lost their nose or their eye as a consequence.’
WHAT IS BASAL CELL CARCINOMA?
Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is a type of non-melanoma skin cancer.
Non-melanoma means it does not involve skin pigment cells.
BCC often appears as scabs that bleed
BCC makes up more than 80 per cent of all forms of skin cancer in the UK, with over 100,000 new cases being diagnosed every year.
It is mainly caused by overexposure to UV light from the sun or tanning beds.
BCC can occur anywhere on the body but is most common on areas exposed to the sun, such as the face, neck and ears.
The following people are most at risk:
- People with fair skin or hair
- Those who work outdoors
- People who use sunbeds
- Those with a personal history of the condition
BCC is usually painless. Early symptoms often only include a scab that bleeds occasionally and does not heal.
Some appear as flat, red, scaly marks or have a pearl-like rim. The latter can then erode into a ulcer.
Others are lumpy with shiny nodules crossed by blood vessels.
Most BCCs can be cured, however, treatment is complex if they are left for a long time.
Treatment usually involves removing the cancerous tumour and some of the surrounding skin.
Source: British Skin Foundation and NHS Choices
Discussing options through with Dr Emma, TracyLeanne reveals what might have caused her BCC in the first place.
‘I was a constant sunbed user,’ she admits. ‘I always felt like if I had a tan then it would give me more confidence.’
Dr Emma concurs, explaining that overexposure to the sun can be a cause of BCC.
‘It probably is sunbeds that lead to this, because we know the sun, in particular UV radiation, causes changes in the cells,’ she says.
Dr Emma explains that overexposure to the sun can be a cause of BCC. Pictured, performing MOHS surgery on TraceyLeanne
The singer admits she was a ‘constant sunbed user,’ which may have lead to the BCC in the first place. Pictured, TraceyLeanne after her MOHS surgery
Ready to give back TraceyLeanne control of her life, Dr Emma decides to operate and remove the tumour, treating the cancer.
On the day of the surgery, the singer is prepped and made comfortable before the expert sets to work, cutting around the tumour with the tip of her scalpel.
After cutting the affected area, Dr Emma pinches the small disc of skin with a pair of tweezers, removes it, and runs it straight off for testing.
Analysing the tissue taken from TracyLeanne’s nose, Dr Emma can instantly see evidence of sun damage.
‘This kind of swirly stuff, this is sun damage,’ she says. ‘This is purely caused by UV radiation. And she’s so young, and she has a lot of it.’
Speaking of the moment she was diagnosed with the common type of skin cancer, TracyLeanne says: ‘You never ever think it’s going to happen to you.’ Pictured after surgery
After cutting the affected area, Dr Emma pinches the small disc of skin with a pair of tweezers, removes it, and runs it straight off for testing. Pictured, performing surgery
After waiting over an hour for Dr Emma to return, TracyLeanne admits she’s nervous to see if the surgery was a success.
‘It is nerve-racking, this is the bit that really stress you out,’ she says anxiously, before Dr Emma tells her: ‘All the cancer is now cut out, that’s it all removed.’
Relieved, TraceyLeanne cannot help but show her gratitude.
‘Thank God for that. I feel amazing,’ she says. ‘Thank you Emma for everything, I feel like having a party now!’
But before the celebrations can begin, the wound left on TraceyLeanne’s nose needs to be healed, which means lying back down on the operating table.
Skillfully, Dr Emma folds over the skin and stitches up the wound, bringing an end to TraceyLeanne’s ordeal.
Six weeks after the surgery, TraceyLeanne is left feeling and looking great.
‘The outcome of the surgery was amazing, you can barely see the scar,’ she enthuses. ‘As you can see, I am just so happy and full of laughter!’
Dr Emma folds over the skin and stitches up the wound, bringing an end to TraceyLeanne’s ordeal. Pictured, Dr Emma performs MOHS surgery on TraceyLeanne
TraceyLeanne is left feeling great just six weeks on from the surgery – and says the results are ‘amazing’