Farmer’s Skin Cancer Ordeal
Ken was a farmer – which meant being on the lands from dawn till dusk and spending many hours outdoors. Days were spent catching tigerfish in Kariba Dam – his passion – without the protection offered by a hat and sunscreen. This meant his exposure to UV rays reached frightening levels.
Years later the cancer became visible as small brown spots which the doctor burnt off. But Ken still didn’t quite recognise the danger of his situation.
After being driven off his land in Zimbabwe, he came to South Africa. A routine check-up (in response to his wife’s ‘nagging’) revealed the full extent of his skin problem.
Ken says: “There wasn’t a single part of my face that didn’t have cancer. The phrase ‘don’t smile or your face will crack’ was exactly how I felt. Eventually all the skin peeled off my face. It was extremely painful.”
Intense, painful treatment, which was a traumatic experience for Ken, finally left him with soft, smooth skin which he protects against the sun’s damaging rays in every possible way these days.
Skin cancer Common in SA:
South Africa has the 2nd highest incidence of skin cancer in the world after Australia, as far as Caucasians are concerned. Ken’s story is a reminder that it is vital to be SunSmart under African skies! Especially if you spend a lot of time outdoors.
It is also important not to ignore possible symptoms of skin cancer, but to go for screening immediately.