When Melanie Williams saw a small, dark growth beginning on the tip of her thumb, she assumed, as many of us would, that it was 'just a fungal infection or a wart'.
However, the 36-year-old mum-of-three decided to get it checked out, just in case, and it's a good job she did - as the relatively harmless-looking mark turned out to be skin cancer.
In a heartfelt Facebook post, Melanie shared a picture of her thumb, explaining that she wanted as many people as possible to see the image and raise awareness of her unexpected but very serious symptoms.
Image: Facebook/Melanie Williams
'See that on my thumb? Do you know what it is? Its skin cancer,' she wrote. 'This grew from nothing in a matter of weeks. I thought it was just a fungal infection or a wart. Sadly not. I've been lucky, the cancer hasnt spread and it's being removed next week along with half of my thumb. This may have not been the case if I'd left it and not got it checked out. I don't want your sympathy, I want more awareness. Therefore, please go and get any changes or growths on your skin checked out, please tell people around you to get checked as well. Dont leave it to chance or make excuses! I will be fighting fit in no time but if I'd left it, I may have been losing more than a thumb. So please, don't leave comments about how brave I am or how sorry you are, instead take that time to share this or tell someone they need to get checked or make that phone call to the doctors for yourself.........'
Showing an incredible sense of humour in spite of her situation, Melanie also added 'Ps. If anyone knows where I can get a mini hook attachment for my stubby thumb give me a shout!'
In a later comment, Melanie revealed that she has had her op, only to find out that she may need further surgery - but she has been absolutely blown away by the support, and the fact that her picture has been shared over 100,000 times!
'Hi everyone! Just a little update. I had my op today but it turns out I may need more of my thumb taken than first expected. I'm due to have more tests done in the next week, so will have to see where we go from there. Thank you to everyone who shared this post. Totally lost for words (for those who know me, this is rare) on the response it has received. I feel proud of everyone who's shared and taken note because of the awareness it's raised! You lot rock!!! Xxx'
Melanie is one strong lady - we're wishing her a strong and speedy recovery, and hoping that as many people as possible see her picture and help her to spread awareness.
For more information about the symptoms of skin cancer, visit www.nhs.co.uk