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Welsh MP says skin cancer has returned

13 May 2024 3 minute read
Chris Bryant in the House of Commons

Emily Price

Rhondda MP Chris Bryant has revealed he will face two years of cancer treatment after being diagnosed with a melanoma in his lung.

The Labour MP posted a video to social media on Monday morning (May 13) in a bid to raise awareness of the disease for melanoma month.

Five years ago Mr Bryant’s husband spotted “an odd looking mole” on the back of his head which turned out to be a late stage melanoma – a particularly vicious form of skin cancer.

He was given a 40 per cent chance of living more than a year but thanks to targeted therapy his chances were dramatically improved.

The Welsh MP said that for the last five years he’s had regular scans which all came back clear.

Immunotherapy

But on his birthday in January, he received the terrible news that what should have been the last scan indicated a melanoma in his right lung.

Mr Bryant said: “Two weeks later I was in a hospitals bed. They put a robot in my right lung, they cut the little bit out and it did turn out to be a melanoma in my lung – not lung cancer, but skin cancer in my lung.

“In years gone by that might have been a death sentence. But thanks to immunotherapy which I’m now on, my chances of being completely cancer free in ten or fifteen years time are really really good, so that’s brilliant.”

‘Tough’

The Labour MP says the immunotherapy is “tough” although “not as tough as chemotherapy”.

He says he has “every hope” of being completely “cancer free” for the rest of his life.

Mr Bryant added that everyone should “take skin cancer seriously” and always get moles checked out by a doctor “if you’re in doubt”.

He said skin damage “can be avoided” and urged people to always “cover up and use high factor sun cream”.

Signing off his social media video, he said: “We can save ourselves from skin cancer. Let’s do it.”

He also shared an image in the comments section of the mole which appeared on the back of his head when he was first diagnosed with cancer.

Speaking during a Tessa Jowell Brain Cancer Mission charity debate in 2019 the Welsh MP suggested the UK Government scrap VAT on suncream as a means to cut skin cancer.

The former Labour MP Baroness Jowell died from a brain tumour in 2018.

Mr Bryant said: “Melanoma is one of the cancers that can metastasise into the brain, because it can travel either through the blood or through the lymphatic system.
“We also know that, although it can kill, especially in the circumstances we are talking about, it is very preventable.”
He asked whether there was more the government could do to ensure “every child covers up in the sun and more people use sunscreen”.
He said: “Perhaps by taking VAT off sunscreen that is higher than SPF-30 or SPF-50.
“We must also ensure that we have enough dermatologists in this country to check moles and other growths that people might have on their bodies.”

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Geoff Hollett
Geoff Hollett
13 days ago

I have a melanoma on my back, have been to hospital for pics to be taken and awaiting any action?

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