Worthing tanning addict scarred by tumour

Anna Taylor

Anna Taylor

First published in News by , Chief reporter

A tanning addict who used a sunbed nearly every day for three years has been left scarred after a tumour grew on her face.

Anna Taylor spent an hour each night, six nights a week, under the tanning bulbs in her spare room in a bid to keep a year-round tan.

After more than 900 hours, the 33-year-old gave up the habit in favour of fake tan lotion and kept out of the sun to avoid wrinkles.

But doctors discovered a tiny spot on her face was cancerous and surgeons cut a chunk out of her cheek, leaving her needing 29 stitches with a huge scar from her eye to her mouth.

Anna, from Worthing, said: “I was confident about my looks before my surgery.

“Now, at 33, and with a life-long scar stretching most of the way down my face, I am reminded daily that my vanity backfired.

“The scar will fade slightly but I will always be left with a mark.

“I am desperate to get the message through to young girls, teens and even ladies my own age that sunbeds are simply not worth the risk – I know that now.”

Anna, who is a radio presenter, first hired a sunbed for two weeks ahead of a holiday to Ibiza with her big sister Katie when she was just 18.

She then spotted one in the classifieds section of her local newspaper and snapped it up, spending half an hour on each side every night except Sunday.

She gave up the sunbed in her early 20s, but the damage was already done.

Anna first spotted a tiny spot on her left cheek near her nose in 2010, but dismissed it after a doctor said it was nothing more than a little scar.

But the blemish grew and after two people commented on it she went to see another doctor in January last year.

After a quick look with a magnifying glass, he announced it was a skin cancer called basal cell carcinoma – caused by exposure to UV rays.

Anna said: “I felt sick, absolutely sick.

“They kept saying to me that I must have sunbathed, but I don’t – I’m very vain and I don’t like my freckles and I don’t want wrinkles.

“They kept saying it was very rare for someone my age to have this and that certainly didn’t make me feel any better.

“It was only when the fifth or sixth person said about the sunbathing that I suddenly remembered about the sunbeds.”

Surgeons cut out the tumour – about the size of a 5p – and the surrounding tissue in two operations in June.

She said: “There is no point and no excuse for going on sunbeds, especially with all the self-tan products out there now.”

Comments (7)

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11:39am Wed 5 Feb 14

mimseycal says...

“Vanity and pride are different things, though the words are often used synonymously. A person may be proud without being vain. Pride relates more to our opinion of ourselves, vanity to what we would have others think of us.” (source: Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice 1813)

You've fed your vanity ... Now is the time to build up your pride.
“Vanity and pride are different things, though the words are often used synonymously. A person may be proud without being vain. Pride relates more to our opinion of ourselves, vanity to what we would have others think of us.” (source: Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice 1813) You've fed your vanity ... Now is the time to build up your pride. mimseycal
  • Score: 1

1:55pm Wed 5 Feb 14

MuammarQaddafi says...

Although I sympathise with Ms Taylor, I must confess that I don't understand tanning addiction at all. Other addictions, yes, I get those, but not that.
Although I sympathise with Ms Taylor, I must confess that I don't understand tanning addiction at all. Other addictions, yes, I get those, but not that. MuammarQaddafi
  • Score: 1

2:22pm Wed 5 Feb 14

Binnybanny says...

Not news, self inflicted, no sympathy.... next!!!
Not news, self inflicted, no sympathy.... next!!! Binnybanny
  • Score: -5

4:14pm Wed 5 Feb 14

yaddab says...

Very brave to stand up show what can happen with no motive other than to warn of the possible dangers.
Very brave to stand up show what can happen with no motive other than to warn of the possible dangers. yaddab
  • Score: 6

5:23pm Wed 5 Feb 14

KarenT says...

If only being pale would become fashionable again like pre-20th Century, especially Georgian times! All that white powder they wore in order to look pale and untouched by the sun, because to have any sort of tan suggested that you were working-class. Still apparently that powder they used to wear had lead in it, and caused different kinds of problems. Even now when I see someone overly-tanned I think "chav". NOT attractive, as well as dangerous. Hopefully people will start to get it!
If only being pale would become fashionable again like pre-20th Century, especially Georgian times! All that white powder they wore in order to look pale and untouched by the sun, because to have any sort of tan suggested that you were working-class. Still apparently that powder they used to wear had lead in it, and caused different kinds of problems. Even now when I see someone overly-tanned I think "chav". NOT attractive, as well as dangerous. Hopefully people will start to get it! KarenT
  • Score: 2

5:59pm Wed 5 Feb 14

LeonBIank666 says...

33 years old??? Is that a misprint?
33 years old??? Is that a misprint? LeonBIank666
  • Score: 0

9:50pm Wed 5 Feb 14

Maxwell's Ghost says...

Burning oneself like a sausage in a pan every day and washing one's whole body in chemicals daily to look orange.
Probably the next cause of many cancers in the next decade. A strange fashion.
Burning oneself like a sausage in a pan every day and washing one's whole body in chemicals daily to look orange. Probably the next cause of many cancers in the next decade. A strange fashion. Maxwell's Ghost
  • Score: 2

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