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A teacher has had her face reconstructed after a harmless spot turned out to be skin cancer.
Cindy Biddle underwent major surgery in which her nostril was rebuilt using skin from her forehead.
Cindy, 42, from Florida, thought a blemish on her nose was just dry skin.
Cindy Biddle, from Panama City, Florida, has had her face rebuilt. This picture is taken after the procedure. (Picture: Hook News)However, it turned out to be potentially deadly basal cell carcinoma, which threatened to ‘eat her face away’ if she had left it.
She explained: ‘I tried moisturising and when that didn’t work, I picked at the blemish until it bled.
‘It just wouldn’t get better.’
Protesters killed in Venezuela border clashes as aid delivery is blockedDoctors at first diagnosed an infection and gave her antibiotics. But another patch of dry skin soon emerged and this time developed into an open sore.
The mum-of-three recalled: ‘One day I had a terrible migraine. I couldn’t get into my usual doctor’s surgery, so I went to another walk-in clinic.
‘While we were discussing the migraine, I took my glasses off and asked the doctor if he could examine my nose.
‘He took one look and told me to get to a dermatologist straight away.’
This spot in Cindy Biddle’s left nostril was later diagnosed as Basal Cell Carcinoma (Picture: Hook News)Two weeks later, Cindy was diagnosed with a type of skin cancer linked to too much exposure to UV rays from the sun.
The teacher explained how, like many in the US, she had to supplement her earnings.
She had been working as a bar tender and had spent a lot of time in the sun and on the beach.
Grandad eats half a tub of paint thinking it’s yogurtCindy said that growing up she hadn’t given much thought to sun protection.
But medics said the cancer had probably been growing since she was as young as 12 years old.
Cindy, of Panama City, was warned she needed radical surgery to remove to tumour, followed by a procedure to replace her left nostril.
Doctors removed the growth, which was so large that husband Jonathan had to leave the room in shock.
They then rebuilt her nostril using a flap of skin peeled from her forehead.
Cindy’s nose was rebuilt using skin from her forehead (Picture: Hook News)Cindy knew there was no alternative, saying: ‘This was something I had to do.
‘Otherwise the cancer was literally going to eat my face off.
‘I could have lost an eye or my entire nose.’
She said she received some hurtful comments to her appearance.
‘If I caught anyone giving me an unwarranted stare, I told it to them straight,’ she continued.
Three dead after Amazon cargo jet crashes near Houston Airport‘One time, I turned around on a group of guys walking behind me and they jumped back with a look of disgust.
‘It reduced me to tears, and when I saw them again the day after, they were all laughing.
‘This time, I kept my cool and told them: “Don’t act like jerks. It’s obvious I’ve had surgery.”
‘They turned tail and ran.’
The swelling on Cindy’s face eventually reduced and there is barely any sign she underwent surgery.
She said she now uses factor 30 sunscreen every day and is focusing on spreading the word about the danger of skin cancer.