Updated 29 June 2018

Grandad issues warning after being ravaged by cancer

“I’m lucky to still be alive and to always have the love and support of my family and friends, but some might not be as lucky.”

After noticing a stubborn pimple on his forehead, he was diagnosed with skin cancer, which eventually spread from his head to his neck, ear, lower jaw and right shoulder.

Now this British grandfather wants to issue a warning to all sun-loving beachgoers.

Colin Davies, a pensioner from Hartlepool in County Durham, England, recently underwent a 13-hour operation to remove three large tumours from the afflicted areas.

Despite spending time in the sun only during childhood fishing trips, Colin has battled 21 tumours in his head over the past 25 years and is speaking out about his ordeal to encourage others to stay out of the sun as much as possible.

“I’ve had to battle the cancer for more than 25 years as almost every year another cancerous tumour would develop, which has resulted in intensive surgery,” Colin says.

“I only spent my younger years in the sun but the skin cancer still ravaged me, which is why I’m issuing this warning so people realise they’re not invincible.”

The cancer survivor needed part of his scalp removed and replaced with an acrylic plate along with a skin graft from his leg. Then he underwent six weeks of intensive radiotherapy to eradicate the cancer.

Colin adds that as the cancer continued to grow throughout his body he also had to have his ear removed.

It’s now been replaced by a prosthetic.

The 66-year-old’s skin cancer wasn’t diagnosed until he was 41.

“I had continual checks on the spot for two years before I was diagnosed, but when it was tough, sore and itchy I knew it was cancer.

“That’s when I went to the doctor and had the spot removed, but the cancer was growing fast and soon took over my entire head.”

He wants other people to be aware of the dangers involved with spending excessive amounts of time in the sun.

“If you go out and sun bathe you’re living on a knife edge because you could end up like me. Skin cancer isn’t just something that’s easy to get rid of, it can change your identity and becomes a life sentence.

“I can never enjoy the sun again and this has made me realise why I’d never want to. But if you do, just make sure you’re covered in sun cream and wear a hat.

“I’m lucky to still be alive and to always have the love and support of my family and friends, but some might not be as lucky.”