Carol Vorderman doesn’t want people feeling sorry for her after diagnosis

Carol Vorderman has shared her experience of a cancer scare, but she wishes to avoid evoking sympathy from others. The 62-year-old former presenter of Countdown revealed that during her youth, she was an avid sun worshipper. “Oh God, yes. I was sunbathing relentlessly for many, many years.”

Belonging to a generation that embraced sunbathing, Carol explained that her mother’s generation did not indulge in such practices. The 60s, 70s, and 80s, when she grew up, lacked awareness about sun protection, and products for safeguarding against the sun were virtually non-existent until the 90s. Carol nostalgically recalled, “So in all of our youth, we were encouraging each other to sunbathe doused in cooking oil.”

Studies indicate that people in Carol’s age group are increasingly affected by skin cancer, with the likelihood of individuals aged 55 and older contracting the disease almost tripling since the 1990s. Cancer Research UK’s latest statistics, which reveal a record number of melanoma skin cancer cases in the UK, do not surprise the TV personality.

The charity reports that 17,500 cases are diagnosed annually, with projections suggesting a potential 50% increase in numbers over the next two decades. Carol herself faced a scare around the age of 50 when she noticed some changes in her skin. Concerned, she visited a dermatologist who conducted a biopsy, revealing that the cells were precancerous.

Emphasizing that she does not want sympathy, Carol underscores the importance of sun safety. She had the affected cells removed and now undergoes annual check-ups. “I slather myself in SPF at all opportunities. In many ways, the damage is already done, but I don’t sunbathe now, I cover myself up,” she shared.

Carol has partnered with Boots brand Soltan and Macmillan Cancer Support for a sun-safety campaign. Her efforts to raise awareness about sun-related health risks are not solely motivated by her personal experiences. She lost her mother in 2017 to three different types of cancer, one of them being melanoma.

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