An estate agent has been left with a deformed lip after years of tanning without suncream caused her to develop a cancerous lump.
Kory Feltz, 40, of Huntington Beach, California, had sunbathed from the age of 13 without protection because she was teased for being pale.
At the age of 27, she was diagnosed with a squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), after developing a golf ball-sized lump in her calf.
Mrs Feltz did not think she had the skin cancer again when a lump developed on her lip, and she even tried to squeeze it thinking it was a spot.
But as it grew rapidly to the size of a cashew, Mrs Feltz sought medical help. A biopsy revealed it was another SCC.
A simple procedure to freeze and remove the lump was meant to take 45 minutes but ended up being five hours when doctors discovered more cancer around the lip.
Mrs Feltz had two more procedures to try and correct the damage - but she said she no longer speaks properly, dribbles, and misses kissing her husband like before.
Kory Feltz, 40, had surgery to remove a squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), a form of skin cancer, from her lip. Pictured, stitched after surgery
A simple procedure to freeze and remove the lump was meant to take 45 minutes but ended up being five hours when doctors discovered more cancer around the lip. Pictured, her face healing after all corrective surgery
When she first saw the lump on her lip in October 2015, Mrs Feltz squeezed it initially believing it was a spot (pictured)
Mrs Feltz loved tanning in the sun from the age of 13 as it made her feel better about herself, which led to her using sunbeds three times a week and burning her skin to create a base tan.
Mrs Feltz said: 'I was an avid tanner from 13 as I tanned in the sun and used tanning beds.
'I was teased for having pale skin, but I watched my older sisters lie in the sun. Also, being tanned made me feel better about myself.
'I would burn on purpose because it set my skin up for a base tan. I have blistered, burnt, soaked and baked in the sun. All could have been avoided by simply applying sun lotion and keeping away from sunbeds.
'I rarely ever used sun lotion. I can only remember wearing it a few times and that was only because my mum made me.'
SCC can vary in their appearance, but most usually appear as a scaly or crusty raised area of skin with a red, inflamed base. SCCs can be sore or tender and they can bleed but this is not always the case. They can appear as an ulcer.
SCC can occur on any part of the body, but they are more common on sun exposed sites such as the head, ears, neck and back of the hands.
If your doctor thinks that the lesion on your skin needs further investigation, you will be referred to a dermatologist.
What should you do if you have a SCC?
Examining your skin on an intermittent basis is strongly advised. If you have any concerns you should see your GP or dermatologist.
In particular, look out for new lesions, lesions that are increasing in size or are changing in appearance and/or lesions which do not heal as expected and/or form a recurrent scab.
At the age of 27, Mrs Feltz developed a lump the size of a golf ball on her calf, so her doctor removed it and upon testing it was found to be a squamous cell carcinoma (SCC).
A SCC is a type of non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC) caused by changes in the DNA cells, such as a burn, which can grow rapidly if untreated.
It is the second most common type of skin cancer in the UK, after melanoma cancer, accounting for 23 per cent of all 100,000 NMSC diagnosed each year.
Research estimates that NMSC, including basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, affects more than three million Americans a year.
SCC most usually appear as a scaly or crusty raised area of skin with a red, inflamed base on the head, ears, neck and back of the hands.
Mrs Feltz said: 'My first squamous was on my calf when I was 27, it was the size of a golf ball and it just appeared out of nowhere one day. I started my regular skin checks every six months and since then at almost every visit I've had a pre-cancer frozen off.'
In October 2015, Mrs Feltz noticed a small lump on her lip, which she first assumed was a spot. No white head appeared and despite trying, no liquid could be extracted.
Mrs Feltz said she woke up and 'half her lip was gone' (pictured, after her first surgery)
Mrs Feltz was left with scarring and a misshapen lip (pictured, the deformity on Mrs Feltz's face after surgery). She needed two corrective surgeries on her nose and the corner of her lip
She said: 'It surfaced on my lip as a tiny pink bump that looked like a spot but didn't have a white head. I picked at it to see if I could extract any fluid and couldn't.
'Because of my history with squamous cells, I was able to identify the early stages of the worst squamous I have had yet.
'A few days later, a tiny cauliflower-like tissue appeared on top of it. I knew it was a squamous.'
Over the next few days, the lump formed white tissue on the top, so Mrs Feltz knew that it was another squamous as she had many others treated before in places such as her ankles.
But she wasn't seen by her doctor for another week, so it continued to grow.
She said: 'I called my dermatologist but couldn't get an appointment for over a month. As a week passed, it grew considerably so I walked into the