A teacher was shocked to discover a tiny pimple under her eye was actually skin cancer. Picture: Mount Sinai Hospital
A teacher was shocked to discover a tiny pimple under her eye was actually skin cancer. Picture: Mount Sinai Hospital

Shock discovery behind teacher’s ‘pimple’

WHEN Gibson Miller noticed a light pink spot under her left eye last August, she dismissed it as a blemish.

However, the 24-year-old, from New York started to grow concerned when after several months it still hadn't gone away, The Sun reports.

She went to see a dermatologist, who ordered a biopsy, and within a week she was diagnosed with a form of skin cancer known as basal cell carcinoma (BCC).

 

Gibson Miller, 24, from New York, thought a small mark under her eye was a blemish. Picture: Mount Sinai Hospital
Gibson Miller, 24, from New York, thought a small mark under her eye was a blemish. Picture: Mount Sinai Hospital

Doctors told Ms Miller she would need two operations - one to remove the cancer and another to reconstruct the tissue around her eye.

It's a common place to get a BCC, as it's an area people often miss when applying sun screen.

Ms Miller explained that she spent a lot of her childhood outdoors as she began playing tennis when she was nine.

She admits she used sun cream, but not regularly, and rarely wore a hat or sunglasses.

 

The tiny mark under her eye is barely visible, but she grew worried when it would not go away. Picture: Mount Sinai Hospital
The tiny mark under her eye is barely visible, but she grew worried when it would not go away. Picture: Mount Sinai Hospital

 

The primary school teacher told the Daily Mail she never liked sunglasses.

"There was a pair on my bag, but it got in my way when I served so I never used them," she said.

"(Sunscreen) always stayed in my bag, but I used it sporadically. It wasn't until my sophomore or junior year that I used it consistently."

After her diagnosis in April this year, she looked back at old photos and realised she'd had the mark under her eye for about three years before she noticed it.

Last month, she underwent Mohs surgery - a procedure where layers of cancerous skin are removed until there is only uninfected tissue.

 

It turned out to be skin cancer. Ms Gibson is on the road to recovery and says she is being more vigilant when it comes to sunscreen. Picture: Mount Sinai Hospital
It turned out to be skin cancer. Ms Gibson is on the road to recovery and says she is being more vigilant when it comes to sunscreen. Picture: Mount Sinai Hospital

The next day Ms Miller had reconstructive surgery, and her scar is now starting to heal.

She said the experience had made her realise the importance of being vigilant with sunscreen.

She now always wears sunglasses or a hat when she is outside and covers her face, ears and any other exposed skin with the appropriate protection.

 

This story was originally published on The Sun and was reproduced with permission