Melanoma survivor Arianna – ‘I’m grateful every day that I noticed it in time’

Arianna Toolan says she is “grateful every day” that she managed to notice a troubling sign of skin cancer before a small problem had the chance to grow bigger.

The 36-year-old from Dublin says she has always been mindful of moles on her body, but when a darker mole appeared on her back in late 2018 she had a feeling there was something different about it.

She went for a consultation soon after, and has been glad she did ever since.

“I was initially told that it looked like something that could develop into a melanoma, so I was referred on to Beaumont for further checks.

“I eventually had it removed four months later in January 2019 and by that time I was told that it definitely was melanoma.

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It shows you the difference that as little as four months can make with cancer.

“Luckily it was stage 1 so it was caught very early, and all it needed was a quick procedure with local anaesthetic to remove it.”

Arianna was confronted with a further worry early the following year when another mole began to grow on the periphery of the scar from her surgery.

Given her initial experience she made sure not to delay in having it seen to, although thankfully it proved not to be a recurrence of her melanoma.

Along with encouraging proper sun protection to help avoid such issues occurring in the first place, Arianna is urging people to take heed of any changes in their skin and not to dismiss or ignore potential problems.

“With any type of cancer timing is key, and I’m still so grateful every day that I noticed it in time to stop things becoming more serious.”

More information on skin cancer

Visit for helpful information on how to be Skin Smart about signs and symptoms of skin cancer

Contact the Irish Cancer Society Support Line

If you have worries or concerns about cancer, you can speak confidentially to an Irish Cancer Society Cancer Nurse through the Freephone Support Line on 1800 200 700.

Monday to Friday, 9.00am - 5.00pm

Roz, Cancer Nurseline

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