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A BBC journalist and reporter has spoken out about her skin cancer diagnosis following ten years of sunbed use.

Laura McMullan described herself as a “tan addict” and joked with colleagues that her goal was to be a mahogany colour, the Birmingham Mail reported.

But she began to spot some of the warning signs of skin cancer in 2013 and is now setting out to warn others about the dangers of sunbeds.

“I was a self-confessed tan addict,” Laura said. “For more than 20 years I prized a deep brown tan, using sun beds for more than 10 years and going on holiday to places where I could bake in the sun every day.”

“I never imagined that what I was doing was harmful, until just over a year ago – when I was told I had melanoma. It’s been a really tough year. Anyone who’s had a cancer diagnosis will know that it doesn’t just attack a certain part of your body, it affects your whole life and your loved ones.”

Finding a red spot on the back of her leg, Laura visited her GP in June 2013 but was under the impression that it was an insect bite. She was given the devastating news that she was in fact suffering with skin cancer the following February, whilst holidaying in Fuerteventura.

“I remember standing in the holiday apartment and hearing the dermatologist’s words, ‘I’m so sorry to tell you it’s melanoma,” Laura said.

“I didn’t really know what that meant, but I do know that I felt sick to the pit of my stomach.

“Getting diagnosed with malignant melanoma knocked the stuffing out of me, but I’m an extremely positive person and I had to believe I was going to be ok.”

The cancer spread to Laura’s groin and she needed to undergo a number of procedures, including major surgery. Thankfully, she was given the news that the melanoma had cleared in June last year.

Now, Laura is setting out to raise awareness of the risks associated with sunbed use.

“From the very beginning I’ve known that I wanted to raise awareness, but I couldn’t even begin to try until I knew I was on the road to recovery,” she said.

“If I can get a strong message out to as many people as possible then I’ve done what I set out to do.”

At Mercury Legal we have long been campaigning for improved standards for sunbed outlets in the UK, supporting campaigns such as ‘The Look to Die For’, launched by Liverpool Council last year. If you or a loved one has suffered as a result of a faulty or unsupervised sunbed, you may be entitled to make a claim for compensation. To discuss your legal options, call 0800 122 3130 or contact us online here. You can also request a call at a time convenient for you by clicking here.