A DENTIST'S fast action has stopped cancer spreading in one of her patients.
Alan Farrar, aged 67, from Clayton, has expressed his "enormous gratitude" to his dentist Zoe Wray, who spotted an unusual cancer – on the top of his head.
Alan was visiting Dr Wray, who lives in Leek and owns Diana Dental in Diana Road, Birches Head, for a regular examination when the eagle-eyed principal dentist noticed a lesion as he sat down in the dental chair.
As a fully-trained clinician in detecting the early signs of mouth cancer, Dr Wray did not like the look of the lesion on Mr Farrar's head and immediately referred him to Mr Daya Gahir, a maxillofacial consultant at the University Hospital of North Staffordshire.
Mr Farrar said: "Straightaway Zoe said she thought it looked like skin cancer.
"At the mention of the word cancer I did go to pieces a little, but Zoe reassured me that it would be dealt with swiftly.
"She wrote the letter to the specialist that day and I was seen within two weeks."
Mr Farrar underwent an operation under general anaesthetic in November 2013 to fully remove the cancerous cells.
Although it has not yet been fully diagnosed, his unusual skin cancer – that was said to have been growing rapidly - does not fall into the two main categories of melanoma or BCC (basal cell carcinoma) as would have been expected.
Dr Wray said: "I am pleased that Mr Farrar has had the operation to remove the cancerous lesion and is now in better health.I must say that I am more familiar with spotting cancers of the mouth and neck but as soon as I saw the lesion on Mr Farrar's head I knew it wasn't right. It helps highlight that dentists look at so much more than your teeth and proves why regular visits to us are so vital to your health and wellbeing."