Mother left disfigured after mistaking cancer for hormonal changes during pregnancy

And she kept a photo diary

Olivia Petter
Wednesday 19 July 2017 12:02 BST
(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

A mother from Austin, Texas has publicly shared a photo diary after beating a rare form of skin cancer which she mistook for hormonal changes during pregnancy.

Bethany Greenway, 39, was left ‘disfigured’ after she dismissed a dark spot on her forehead that appeared when she was pregnant with her second child in 2014.

Doctors told her it was a liver spot, whilst she presumed it appeared as a result of pregnancy hormones.

(Vimeo (Vimeo)

It wasn’t until 18 months later that further symptoms developed.

When a painful mole appeared in the same place, she sought medical advice and a biopsy revealed that she has stage 3a desmoplastic melanoma. Doctors quickly removed the mole using a skin graft to cover the affected area which left Bethany with an unfavourably large scar.

This was followed by immunotherapy and 30 rounds of radiation which took place in March.

"The radiation was absolute the worst part. It was hell plain and simple. It fried the inside of my mouth. My throat was so sore," she said.

"My skin was covered in sores, I lost my ability to taste food, my voice was hoarse, at about week three my hair began to fall out on the treated area. By the time I was done with treatment I had lost about forty pounds because eating had become such a miserable chore."

She began sharing photographs of her progress online to document her recovery and spread suncare awareness.

"My reason for doing this is to prevent anyone from ever being in my shoes", she said. "If seeing my pictures and reading about what I’ve been and am still going through makes one person put on sunscreen or go to the dermatologist and get checked then I’ve done my job.

"All my struggle isn’t for nothing because me sharing my story made one person take better care of themselves. I live in Texas where you have to put on sunscreen everyday, I try to be careful, but I also have fair skin and I am ginger.

"I have been disfigured by this destructive cancer. I lost the muscle on half my forehead and my left eyebrow almost completely save for like two tiny stray hairs. It’s very rare for a younger female to get this."

The stay-at-home mother currently covers her scar with make up and is hoping to undergo reconstructive surgery later this year.

Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer and can appear anywhere on the body, but can most commonly be found on the back, legs, arms and face.

You are advised to seek medical advice if you notice the appearance of a new mole or an existing mole changes.

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